Katas are cool!
Last night I did my first ever public performance of a Kata at an event for women in tech. Here are some things I learnt from the experience…
- Nerves make everything harder — I practiced this kata in front of my colleagues twice at work before the event. The first time I performed the kata my hands were shaking so badly that I could barely type. However, last night, although I was very nervous, my hands didn’t shake!
Moral of the story: If you are performing a kata and you can practice it in public beforehand then do it! It will be extremely helpful.
2. Kata confidence — I now feel comfortable with performing the Roman Numerals kata (in Ruby) and I have cut down my kata performance time from 27 minutes to about 11 minutes on average. Currently, my best time is 10 minutes and 30 seconds.
Moral of the story: Practice makes perfect!
3. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone feels good! My mentors really encouraged me to do this event and had it not been for them, I don’t know if I would have felt ‘ready’ enough to willingly volunteer. However, I’m so glad I challenged myself and committed to doing the event.
Moral of the story: Just do it! Volunteer for something you normally wouldn’t feel confident enough to do. In the tech industry, imposter syndrome is almost a given. I’ve heard numerous accounts of people feeling like their coding level isn’t that good, even if they’ve been coding for years. So, the chances are that you will never feel 100 perfect confident about the way you code but that’s a good thing! It means you recognise that you always have something to learn and space to grow.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and commit to a challenge then put in some time so you feel ready for when you have to see it through.
Were there things that I could improve on with regards my kata and my performance yesterday? Of course there were! There are always things that can be improved even though I had done the kata over 60 times.
However, the experience on the whole was hugely positive for me and I hope others were able to learn more about katas and the process of refining them.