(bright music) - When I was a child I belonged to a 4-H group and in my 4-H projects I had sewing and baking and everything else but I also showed dairy cattle. And showing dairy cattle involved, obviously, a halter with a lead on it. And you had to parade it around. You got graded on your showmanship and whatever. We had one rule in our family about showing animals.
My father said to me no matter what happens, never let go of the lead, never. At the end of the fair after showing Rosie, we had a parade across the front of the stands. And Rosie, for some reason, took off running and she drug me through the dirt and the mud and heaven only knows what else as you're parading animals and I get to the end and, all of a sudden, Rosie stops and I stop, covered with mud. And I look up and there's my dad and he says good job, you didn't let go of the lead.
- For me, perseverance is about knowing what your end goal is and sticking to it no matter what. So my father passed away when I was at a very young age and we ran into a lot of financial issue. So I found a way around it by freelancing and keeping to coding. So I used to freelance and at the same time take a lot of online courses so that I could focus on both. And freelancing also taught me a lot about working with different kinds of people.
I always made sure to take all of that knowledge with me into my development. So perseverance is about don't forget what you want to do ultimately and keep to it. Keep going for it. - What used to happen is that I used to have very low grade points and most of the companies would just reject me on the face value of those grade points. But then there was one company which actually said that if, given a problem, you're able to solve the problem I'm gonna hire you.
So he gave me a problem. I solved a problem and I got hired. So just remember that when one door closes, another one always opens. So hang in there. Do something you believe in. And you'll get the opportunity you deserve. - One of my first jobs out of college was working at a testing lab at Intel and the whole point of it was to find a bug. So most of the time, or a lot of the time, those tests would fail. Or you'd even sometimes fail before you got the thing set up.
And I got used to having every day be super frustrating. My job was just to be frustrated all the time. And it bugged me a lot at first. It made the job really hard and I think I even thought about quitting. I thought I should give up on tech. I don't want to do this if this is what being in tech is. What I eventually came to realize was I couldn't change whether the job was frustrating. I couldn't change that but I could change my attitude about frustration. And so I just started to adopt this attitude of yeah, it's gonna be frustrating.
I'll just accept that this job is frustrating and I don't need to let that get to me and I don't need to let it stop me from enjoying this job. - And it came back to me, how important that skill is when I had a student in one of my classes. Matt came to my class and he was a blind student and he wanted to learn to program. It was a challenge for him and it was a challenge for me because, as a teacher, I try to do everything I can to meet those students' needs and I want them to succeed.
Well, after a couple weeks Matt said I just can't do this. This is just too hard. And I said Matt, oh my goodness, you cannot quit. You have to hang onto the lead no matter what happens. Technology needs you. You come with such different experiences and wisdoms and a view of the world so different from other developers that we need you. We have to figure out a way to keep you in here so that you can succeed.
So we tinkered with some of the adaptive stuff and he got a few other tools and then I paired him with another student who sat beside him. And that was years and years ago. And now he is a professional involved in technology. And it was persistence on his part and persistence on my part to say never let go of the lead. Just keep going until you get to where you want to be. (bright music)