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Mistake Odyssey

Barbaño González

·5 min read

The human being for many centuries delegated the responsibility of preserving a great part of their culture, of the most precious information, in the capacity of keeping in their memory the data, the names, the places, the details...

In the Ancient Greece, Homer was the first to leave written traces of what until then were only remembered words, poems heard and recited from generation to generation. All this with the invaluable help of the muses. What a relief! He must have thought. What enormous risk and stress must have been in the atmosphere of those times. What would happen if amnesia came, the sudden loss of information. To forget is human. To err is human.

The age of error

Undoubtedly, in our time, a recurring nightmare that we have all had is the one in which, after having done a work on our computer, just when we have to present it, a failure in the system makes everything written in the last minutes disappear... sometimes hours. Re-writing a previously written text is a hard exercise of memory, between frustration and despair. It will never be the same. Muses hardly come to the rescue. We are not Homer.

animated

Such suffering could be avoided in an ideal, utopian world where we would all keep backup copies of our documents every second. But the reality is that neither the obsession with saving versions in the cloud or on external disks is infallible. The danger of losing a moment of inspiration is part of all of us. Some say that we live in the age of error. Some of them made by us, others by the machines.

For a writer or content creator, this nightmare can be especially hurtful, since the ability to write good texts and communicate information does not imply being an expert in computers or in the operation of the software that serves as a platform on which to shape texts.

Getting out the comfort zone

When we are trained, we learn tools for our profession that we tend to hold on to tightly. Our first jobs are usually done with those initial tools and little by little we discover new ones that open up a world of infinite possibilities. Of course, it is not always easy to let go of the everyday to tackle new challenges with different methods. Homer first learned to recite by heart... at some point he would learn to write... and to read verses.

Sometimes opportunities appear when you least expect them. Thus AsyncAPI appeared in my life and the opportunity to contribute to this project arose. Initially it was an exciting and challenging idea in a totally unknown sector for me, coming from the world of communication. I began to familiarize myself with the concepts and objectives covered by the project and little by little I started to get into it until I came across new tools and working methods that were new to me. Outside my comfort zone, an incomprehensible world was opening up before me. Are there maps for the desert? Who brought me here? Why learn something new if I have already internalized the mechanisms of my previous work?

Learning from mistakes

AsyncAPI is an open, free and collaborative project so the community needs to work with tools that allow working from transparency and horizontality creating an agile system. We are talking about Git, GitHub and VS Code, three free and open source software tools.

When it comes to writing, the project relies on plain text, specifically the use of Markdown. It is considered a language that has the purpose of allowing the creation of content in a simple way of writing, and that at all times maintains a readable design. VS Code is the text editor in which we will work with Markdown. And then Git and GitHub conform the system that allows to store the information and easily retrieve it in case of loss, failure or error, as well as to consult the changes and revert them at any time.

Evidently my immersion in these programs was for weeks an odyssey through the vast ocean of ignorance, or what is the same, an odyssey through the purest science of trial and error in which, apparently, there were only errors. Empirical learning is hard.

Fortunately AsyncAPI has a community that works as a great team, in it I found people who help me to dispel my doubts and solve my mistakes. I take this opportunity to thank you from these lines, especially @anbreaker for your patience 😅.

The end of a nightmare

Multidisciplinarity is increasingly on the rise. It has been amply demonstrated that the convergence of different disciplines in the same project achieves a more successful and impactful result. This peculiarity makes us get closer and closer to disciplines that work with different tools than the ones we are used to.

Beyond the mistrust or distrust derived from leaving our comfort zones, all this can be approached as an opportunity for learning. Ultimately, we discover new tools that make our work easier and more productive. A treasure hunt. An unexpected return to Ithaca. The odyssey comes to an end.

The stress generated by the loss of information when writing is over for me. There is no concept of "unrecoverable text" in my new work environment thanks to the copies made by Git. There is a map where there are traces of everything that was done before. The nightmare has come to an end. We Homer wannabes can finally rest peacefully... waiting for the muses to arrive in our dreams.

Photo by Carolinie Cavalli on Unsplash

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