My first day at the Recurse Center (RC)

Excitement, community warmth, and tons of guilt & anxiety 😬


As a new idea in my mind, this is by no means a solid source. I'm happy to hear your thoughts and learn better.

Today was my first day at the Recurse Center (RC), a sort of 3-month sabbatical for people who want to get "dramatically better" at programming.

I've written plenty about why I wanted to join RC, but now that this year-old dream has become reality I find myself facing my internal monsters...

Over and over, my biggest fear about big life opportunities is not "getting it right", it's perfectionism. There are a ton of intertwining factors for this pressure, ranging from toxic masculinity to wanting to make up for my huge stack of luck, privilege and great opportunities.

The road of getting rid of guilt has been long and arduous, and has no sign of ending...

BUT one of the reasons I'm excited about this program is how warm, kind and supportive everyone in it seems to be. This feels like prime ground for further letting go of shame and becoming more guided by play.

I've tons of interests to explore and projects to build during my batch.

To deal with the malaises of the modern world and the solitary nature of my work, working in "real life" has been a blessing for me. For example, I've just moved to the country side and today I've sharpend a scythe and reaped a banana bunch for the first time in my life, it's super fun and empowering!

Now, I want to make software more tactile to help both myself and others who feel similarly. One of the best ways I know to do that, is to work with a spatial & infinite canvas, which is my big creativity focus of late.

I've worked off an existing platform to create Tapi, but I also want to learn how to create a canvas myself - reinventing the wheel for the win! I've three main applications for infinite canvases:

  1. Code documentation - think Heptabase, but inside VS Code and integrated into your project's files & git
  2. Digital collages (images, videos, audio) - for memory, self-therapy and fun
  3. Writing content - I believe we can better produce written content through a spatial canvas in which you can connect ideas and iterate on structure and copy by quickly copying and manipulating snippets around. Think Figma for content - if you've ever designed UIs & UX flows in it, you know how liberating and awe-inducing it is to build 10s of incremental variations of a design in a few minutes only to later throw all of them away.

I think I'll implement an MVP of 1. during RC as it's the simplest, but 2. is closer to my heart and 3. feels like the one with most utility potential (but also the hardest to pull off).

To achieve any of these, I'll learn more about local-first software & real-time syncing (CRDTs), high performance computing, geometry & graphics, how to structure large codebases, and, ideally, edge computing and functional programming.

Quite the tall order, huh?

Hence why I'm writing what I want to work on as a side note, and focusing on...

But at least for the first couple of weeks, though, I'll optimize for connection, not learning - although I believe the latter can be a result of the former.

Hence why I'm writing this: Ed Younskevicius is being brave to get back to blogging after almost 20 years, and that nudged me to be brave about having a scrappy blog post as my sole "delivery" for the day.

Let's take it one day at a time :)