Wrapping up - Where to go from here #
Hey, so, you made it. I can’t give you a degree. But, I’m proud of you. Even if you skipped a chapter or two, you still put in work to improve yourself and learn something. That’s cool.
But, maybe you thinking “Okay, but now what?"
Integrating other interests #
There’s a lot more to life than computers and code and electronics and making and hacking. Sure, all of these things are fun, but you’ll burn yourself out if they’re all you do, especially if you’re just coding for code’s sake instead of making something cool.
So, make something cool and find other hobbies.
I’m into making music, longboarding, writing, making digital art, gaming, and a whole buncha' things. I often find ways to mix my interests though, and those are the times I have the most fun.
Music? Make some synths or effects pedals- distortions are dead simple.
Long boarding? Make an electric board, or something to track your speed.
Writing? You can make interactive fiction, stories with choices!
Gaming? You could make your own game, make a mod, make cheats - only for single player or anarchy servers.
You get the idea. Having a passion for nerdy things like this guide has talked about is great, but don’t let it be all consuming.
On that note, a lot of smart people think they always need to be making something that contributes to society or that they always need to be working to feel fulfilled.
And look, I know it’s not that simple. I can’t say
“You shouldn’t feel bad for playing video games in your free time”
and have you be suddenly all good and able to relax.
but, please, being happy and doing things you enjoy, even if you have to force yourself, is often the most productive thing you can do.
Work life balance is important.
Contributing to Open Source #
If you do need something to work on though, I really recommend adopting an open source project and giving it some contributions. You might even make some friends along the way.
You don’t have to start with something as big and as intimidating as the Linux kernel to contribute. You can do something as easy as fixing typos and adding content to a site like this one - hint, hint - or find some actual code repos on GitHub that are actively seeking maintainers and contributors.