Credit: Ronik Basik on GitConnected

A month ago, I discussed asynchronous code and the power it has to make code blocs much more efficient. While one code bloc is taking its sweet time to run, another one can execute in the meantime. I drew a parallel between a patisserie baker’s process and the disparity in efficiency between synchronous and asynchronous code execution. That was fun, but now I want to draw a different, more serious parallel.

I want to compare asynchronous code to my life and specifically my experience during the covid pandemic. Sometimes life as you know it gets blown up by a pandemic…

Imagine if baking could only be accomplished one step at a time: The Parisian boulangère turns the oven on, sits, twiddles her thumbs while the oven pre-heats, then, once the oven reaches the appropriate temperature, she pulls out the butter from the freezer, then again sit, twiddling as she waits for it to thaw, and then, only at the moment it has reached the requisite pliable-but-firm consistency, does she begin assembling the flour and other the dry ingredients that go into her croissant dough. Quelle tragédie!

My experience as a software engineering student at Flatiron is reminiscent of my 14 years of math class in grade school. It’s not the material that’s similar. It’s the method of teaching. We dive into each a new topic by exploring the “why” of it all — and then work to understand the processes underneath the trunk by learning the arduous manual approach to solving the problem. Only once we have mastered that understanding does the teacher disclose the simple, much more streamline process, flipping the truck closed to expedite things along. Don’t we all love that moment! …

Susana Vik

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