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Galactic Motivation Guide

Motivation is a powerful but elusive factor. Sometimes, we feel it with an enormous power and we see ourselves capable of achieving everything. Shortly thereafter, it may simply disappear, leaving us with no strength and a strange feeling of emptiness. The most common reason? We forget our objectives. We invite you to read a short story about motivation that took place at 42 Madrid.

42 Madrid Fundacion Telefonica

“Guys, how do you regain motivation?” Yes Pablo was encouraged to ask that in an internal campus forum because he had not doubt that he would find help from his peers, which he did. What he probably didn’t count on was that one of them, David, would go a step further and create what he decided to call “Start-up Manual to Regain Motivation”. You will find it if you read on, a few paragraphs below.

In fact, David is one of the students who has advanced the most in what we call the42 cursus (message for recruiters and curious people, this is his LinkedIn). One of the key points of 42 is that both the methodology and the contents are subject to constant updates in order to adapt to the moment and the needs of the labour market. In fact, the latest versions of the projects are always available to all students at the Madrid campus. David felt comfortable with the methodology, although, like everyone else who dares to dive into the pool, he was somewhat uncertain about it. He reveals “I decided to try my luck in the pool because of how disruptive and innovative the concept of 42 seemed, because of the freedom of schedules and because of the professional projection it offers. Now, after four programming languages, a good handful of tools and frameworks, and many hours in front of the computer, it is increasingly clear to me that I was right to apply and I was lucky to be admitted.” Even if we have to disagree, we guarantee that luck had nothing to do with it..

The recent adaptation to remote work that many students have had to undergo for various reasons has not been equally easy for everyone, although the Distrito Telefónica campus has been open for months, has been alive and pools have been held again. Disconnecting is easier due to the change of routines and the substitution of essential elements such as presence. Fortunately, we were able to set up the necessary tools very early on so that the training would not be interrupted. Frustration tolerance and adaptability are key on campus. Even so, we are aware that these are times when sitting in front of the computer at home may be more complicated than usual.

“I had done some programming in college, years ago, but during the pool I discovered that what I knew was only a small part of everything I was going to learn later,” David confesses. Although he has been working on machine learning projects for months, he is also interested in cybersecurity. What’s more, it won’t be long before he has the chance to try out both fields within the 42 course of study and see how far he gets.

As promised, here is the simple but great manual that David prepared for Pablo and for the whole 42 community. It could be useful to study programming, but also something else. It’s just a matter of regaining motivation for something we love..

Start-up Manual to Regain Motivation, by David Rodríguez

With the pandemic, you may have disconnected from 42, and sitting at your computer may be a lot harder than it seems. Not everything is lost, there are several things you can do to get back on track and resume delivering projects.

  • Create a habit. It’s hard to spend eight hours a day doing the same thing if you’re not used to it. In the pool we had a very strong motivation, but now there are no deadlines, and the objectives may fade on the horizon. It may take several weeks for your mind to internalize again the way of working of 42.
  • Set small goals. Break your current project into parts, or do other projects in parallel to clear your mind.
  • Go back to campus. Although we are able to work remotely, distractions and loneliness can make the concept of self-learning much harder when stuck at home. The methodology was designed to be face-to-face, and it works best for many of us. Some people may work well remotely, but others find it much more difficult.
  • Connect with your colleagues. Both in person and online, it is important to stick together, find a partner or group that you are comfortable with and that will help you move forward. They do not need to be working on the same project as you. If the current situation prevents you from being physically on campus, you can use Slack, or Discord, where there is a “Squads” system that connects you with colleagues to work on a project.
  • Create a friendly environment. You have to be comfortable in the digital environment as well. Choose an IDE you like, customize it, get acquainted (again) with the tools you will be using in the coming months, and spend time learning about it. Knowing the work environment well can greatly speed up learning and save time.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask questions. In this game there are no teachers, we need each other, and getting stuck is dangerously easy. You can also ask a sponsor to advise you for a period of time.

Recall what led you to enter into this methodology. The situation we are going through does not help, but in 42, the greatest source of motivation is in yourself..

Original publication of the manual on Medium, by David Rodríguez Elipe