First Rejection: What To Know, What To Do

So I interviewed with Peloton Cycle a few minutes ago by phone. My first rejection.

In a nutshell, it sucked.  My answers sucked, and I wasn't familiar with half the technologies the interviewer mentioned.

He asked me a few questions/made certain demands:

1) Tell me about your background.
2) What's your strongest language?
3) On a scale from "beginner" to "benevolent master of the universe," how would you rank your familiarity with Python?
4) Do you have any experience with decorators/descriptors?
5) What do you know about us and what we do?
6) What's your experience with C?
7) DB experience?

Alright, so the questions were really simple.  That doesn't matter!  Know why?  Because I couldn't gather my thoughts enough to come up with coherent answers.  It appeared that I didn't know anything.  It was like I was high the whole time.  At times, I'd find myself in a complete daze for I-DON'T-KNOW-HOW-MANY seconds.

So at some point, he mentioned Postgres, Cassandra, and then said, "I don't think you'll be good for this role because you don't have experience with a lot of our technologies, so I don't want to waste your time."

Where I'll Go From Here

There's a level of inferiority I feel right now that I can't really describe.  I feel terrible, like all of my years of programming were absolutely useless.  I'm going to change that.

My instinct says to do the following in whichever order comes first:

1) Become a Python expert within the next three days. Don't eat, sleep, or breathe anything else.
2) Interview with another Python-using company and land the job.
3) Work for about a year.
4) Create a dynamite startup company and work for yourself so that you never have to feel nearly as incompetent as you do now.
5) Drink until it doesn't hurt anymore.

But my mind, the thing that actually surveys my situation and doesn't just act, says:

1) Be realistic. You're not going to master any language in three days, even if you get on TopCoder and do everything (which is impossible).  So try to master it in five days, and then continue coding in the language like you're trying to master it in a year.

2) Get up. It happens, and you knew it was going to happen - don't lie to yourself and act like you didn't. This is a part of the process.

3) Shut everyone out. The reason your pride is hurt right now is that you're comparing yourself to everyone you feel you're competing with. That's hindering your progress right now. Keep thinking about how to go about making a progression.

4) Get mad, but keep working. You're already mad at everything, but try to get angrier. Your sister was killed. You're still stuck in the Bronx, the ghetto, the black hole. You're doing fine, but you have to keep doing fine no matter what. Keep working on projects. Release your pride and joy to the world very soon. Realistically, you couldn't have completed anything in the past without knowing anything.

5) Don't drink. Renee wouldn't want it that way. Your sister didn't die so you can fall off. You still have a lot to do and a lot to prove. Don't let one guy who probably would have laughed at you anyway push you over the edge. You have a family, including your late sister, to do a lot of big things for.

6) Make so much from this that at some point, you won't have to be at the mercy of some nerd. You can start your own thing and you have. You know how it feels to do for yourself. Peacock it out intellectually, remain realistic, but make sure that your mind is set on eventually having your own thing because you know that's what works for you. You weren't ever really good at taking orders, so why try to make moves like you were?

7) Push something out between now and tomorrow. Match every shortcoming with a new production and then some.  You have something you're working on.  Push it out tonight or tomorrow, but aim for tonight. GitHub's waiting.

I know what I'm going to work on next. My pride's definitely hurt. I have a lot to work for now though. It will be alright. This is only my first rejection, and I see many coming my way before I get to the next checkpoint.  This was just another stepping stone, and I'm, honestly, really happy I was able to have that experience.  There's nothing I see myself being unable to learn and manage quickly. I've done it before. Eventually, I'll prove it enough to get the respect I know I deserve. I know that what's deserved isn't necessarily what's entitled, so even what's deserved might come after a lot of work.

Shout-out to Renee. I love you. I promised a lot when I held your hands in that casket. I'll never forget any of it. I'm pushing. I'm pushing. I'm pushing. Watch me, please. My God. Please watch.

Greg

Software Engineer

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