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High Fives

New to Street Fighter? Read This.

Patrick Miller:

Through fighting games, I learned how to work hard and push myself past the point of “Man, I suck at this, this is no fun,” and I hope that you have a similarly impactful experience. And I want you to know that everyone goes through that I-suck-at-this-it’s-no-fun phase, and it’s the main thing that stops people from continuing to play and really get good. So, let’s talk about a few strategies for dealing with it.

This was exactly what it felt like when I started playing more seriously a few months ago. I would have whole days where I would play dozens of matches and get blown up every time.

It still happens. I have to come to terms on a daily basis with the fact that I have a whole ton of things to learn yet when it comes to Street Fighter—and I have to learn with reflexes that aren’t as sharp as they used to be.

Among the best advice in there, at least for someone like me:

Personally, I’ve never been good at learning a skillset if I don’t feel like I have a strong understanding of how the things I’m practicing day-to-day map towards long-term goals and the big-picture view of Getting Good at Fighting Games. It’s not enough for me to learn a new combo or setup; I need to learn why this combo or setup makes me a better player.

This is the kind of thing that a good teacher usually has; in fighting games, we have to be our own teachers. In order to make the most of our training time, we need to get good at breaking down these games not just in terms of frames and inputs but in terms of concepts like gameplans and footsies and controlling space.

I recommend reading the whole thing.

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Markel!

Curve

I’m a few months in and it’s accurate to say that I’m enjoying my new role at work, doing great things with the VIP team at WordPress.com. I feel like I’m able to contribute to big projects by taking some grunt work and communicating with our clients clearly and often as we partner with them to do Big Things. I feel like I’m doing a pretty good job with my responsibilities, and am happy with the things I’m able to accomplish.

But I get frustrated an a near-daily basis, and that frustration is all with myself.

There are some neat things I can do now that I haven’t been able to do in the past. I’m using my knowledge of WordPress templating now more than I have in a long time. I’m learning more of the ins and outs of WordPress.com, which is really interesting. And I’ve gone from not even knowing what wp-cli is to using it on a daily basis and being comfortable with doing so. I can get things done.

One goal I’ve had with shifting to doing this job has been to try to use the (admittedly quite weak) PHP development skills I have to assist with other tasks. This has been great in theory and in practice I have been able to learn little things here and there.

But it’s the sheer amount of things I don’t know that has me intimidated and quite frankly annoyed with myself. I can’t read Javascript and hardly know what it can do or does in a specific context. I don’t even know what cross-site scripting is, let alone how to prevent it or other security problems. Best practices like sanitization and escaping and where to apply or which methods to apply where elude me.

I don’t even understand how to use git yet. (svn and I are cool.)

Debugging is sometimes a total and complete mystery—just finding a place to get started is on ordeal and I feel like it takes me way too long to catch on to some things.

The problem feels like one of sheer scale. Where do I start? What do I do? Maybe I’m too old to learn new things at this point; I don’t know. I get bored taking classes, because they are too far from actual practice, and I get frustrated with just diving in because I feel there are too many things to learn at once.

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this out. Is this a common thing to feel when approaching this kind of thing? Is there anything out there you’ve used in the past or things you have done that help with overcoming the intimidation factor?

I’m hoping that in a year or ever a few months, I can look back on this and laugh at it.