I’ve been a professional programmer for about 6 years now and I thought I’d share a story about something stupid I did. I think a lot of new programmers or people just trying to get into the field of web development feel dumb or get frustrated easily when things don’t work.
When I was just starting out, I considered someone who had 6 years of experience something of a “guru” who knew everything about the terminal and could code their way out of any situation.
I decided to sit down and continue learning Vue. Before starting, I was trying to make it so VS Code would launch from the terminal, so I did what I normally do and Googled it. Now I could’ve done it right from VS Code, but instead I tried to do it manually by editing my .bash_profile to add VS Code to the $PATH.
Turns out I didn’t actually append it to the path, I replaced it. So that means the only thing in my PATH was `code`. Needless to say, this completely screwed up my environment and my Mac terminal became essentially useless.
- `ls` wouldn’t work
- `git` wouldn’t work
- every basic command wouldn’t work
I couldn’t launch code editors, drush didn’t work, composer didn’t work, node didn’t work, npm didn’t work. I thought the only way to get out of this mess was to factory reset. Before I did that, I Googled the issue “screwed up my $path mac” and luckily found an answer that made sense. I found a working solution for how to “reset” my $PATH variable so things would be usable again. Once my basic utilities were back, I was able to reconnect my dotfiles and I was back up in running.
The situation was a good reminder that even people who seem to know what they’re doing have moments where they get themselves into uncharted waters. I think part of what makes someone an expert is the ability to problem solve their way out of uncertainty.