I generally handle job interviews quite well, but sometimes I get that dreaded question: "what is your biggest weakness?"
I know that I should try and earnestly answer this question and not pass off a strength as a weakness, so I do. And yet, it's the exact answer often given as an example of what not to say.
I usually say something like "I'm a perfectionist", and later explain that this has sometimes impeded my ability to ship consistently and on time since I'd rather do something perfectly and be late or not at all.
As disingenuous as this sounds, it's absolutely true. It really is my biggest weakness.
My perfectionism has gotten in the way of a lot. I have 34 private repositories on GitHub, maybe 2/3rds of which are interesting from a technical perspective and would probably work in my favor if a recruiter or lead engineer were ever to check my page. I hesitate to make any of them public.
You see, when I run the simulation in my mind of changing each repo's visibility setting, a torrent of fear, doubt, and anxiety hit me. My GitHub commit history is too messy -- I'm not using the proper semantic Git commit practices. The code isn't clean, I should do a complete refactor or my prospective coworkers might hate to imagine what my pull requests will look like. The UI/UX isn't where I want it to be, it makes me look like an amateur. Et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam.
This is the same with my writing. As far as I can remember, I've written dozens of both technical and non-technical posts. I've even published a few in past iterations of my personal website. This was never long-lived, though, as I would read them back weeks or even days after and promptly delete them out of fear that it's just not good enough.
And so, I never release my work.
Kanye West, in his song Spaceship, said:
"Lock yourself in a room, doing five beats a day for three summers"
I find this part of the verse the most evocative part of the track, and maybe one of the more memorable lines in his entire discography.
What makes it so interesting to me is that I want to do that! I want to be prolific. I want to create and release work at such a high frequency that I eventually will get really good at it by default. Five beats a day for three summers will make anyone a masterful producer.
I've been planning out my year ahead, and whatever I will eventually do, I want to make sure that I'm producing and releasing work consistently -- regardless of whether I deem it suitable enough. This post marks the beginning of my three summers, and a public commitment to not let perfection get in the way of progress.