Growing up pulling weeds in my father’s small taro patch in Palolo Valley, I learned many lessons that have helped me grow as a software developer.

The first lesson I learned was complaining gets you nowhere. Oh yes, my brothers and I complained a lot about having to spend our precious summer vacations in the mud pulling weeds before we were able to go out and play. The more we complained, the longer we had to spend in the mud. If we complained enough, we would have to tend to the bitter melon, wash the car and perform numerous other manual labors. So, in the end we learned to shut up and get our work done so we could have some fun before the sun went down.

The second lesson I learned was to be thorough. My dad had the tako eye and used it to spot every little weed we missed while we were rushing to wash our feet and run for freedom. If he spotted one at a distance, he would then turn on his super weed detection vision and comb through the taro and mud for any weeds we might have missed or tried to hide by pushing them below the surface. Standing in line waiting for my dad to finish the inspection was nerve-racking and our laziness resulted in us having to comb through the entire mud bog all over again.

The third lesson I learned was that the weeds would always be back. Though we pulled the weeds out by the roots, somehow they would sprout up again the following week as if my dad had gone back in and planted weeds after we left to have our fun, thus ensuring us another weekend of manual labor. Pulling weeds is a never-ending job but must be done for the taro to thrive and for my dad to be content with his mud field.

These lessons helped prepare me for my career in software development, because the taro is my code and the weeds are my bugs. I do not complain having to weed out the bugs in my code. I must be thorough and make sure that my code is bug free. Finally, I accept that as long as I code there will be bugs and thus I must repeat my first and second lessons.