Developing in the Dark

As an aspiring developer, you set out to slay the largest monster in the deepest, darkest cave. You have only a tiny pinpoint flashlight to see by, which is the context of your current knowledge.

You enter the cave and see a couple of tiny little monsters with your tiny little light. You smite them and bathe in the glory of your triumph.

Then a gigantic paw reaches out and claws your side. You hold your bleeding rib and spin around frantically looking for the attacker, but your tiny little flashlight reveals nothing but dark walls.

You run from the cave and return with a slightly larger flashlight, which reveals slightly larger monsters crouching in the corners. You smite them and feel triumphant, but also wary. You spin in circles, but seeing nothing and feeling no claws, you breathe a sigh of relief.

Then you hear a slow, ominous giggle. Again you run from the cave, and return with a larger flashlight, which reveals a fat, giggling, yellow-toothed monster.

You smite him and wait for the repercussions: a claw, a cackle…anything…but nothing comes. Still, you feel uneasy, and back out of the cave warily, returning with an even larger flashlight.

The larger flashlight reveals more of the tiniest monsters, and you wonder, “How did I not see those before? Did they suddenly appear, or did I overlook them?”

You notice that these monsters are as tiny as the ones you first conquered, but they are stone-colored. You must have mistaken them for crevices in the cave wall, but now you know your monsters well. You have learned their movements, and though they look like stones, you sense the difference. You smite them, but not triumphantly…you are beginning to develop a respect for their beguiling ways.

Now tapped into your heightened senses, you listen closely. Yes, you can hear it: the breathing of the monster. No, that’s not right. You’re not hearing the breath…you are feeling it.

The breath is warm and slow as it sweeps up your spine, lingering on each vertebrae, landing at the base of your neck, gently teasing the hairs at the base of your scalp.

You shudder, wondering if you should run and find another flashlight, or a spotlight, or a heat sensor.

And then you see it: the edge of the cave. Those are not stones…they are teeth. You have found the largest monster, and you are clutched inside his jaws.

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