Error Messages, Considered Curiously

When programming a web application, error messages constantly appear in the browser where the project is being built, displaying text describing that something is going wrong.  (A file is missing.  A typo broke part of the program.  A module is missing.  The server is misconfigured.)

Some error messages are clear.  Some are difficult to decipher.  

These messages are a constant part of the building experience, and so the programmer must make a constant choice.  She can see the error as a chance to learn, to improve the project, to hone her skill.  Or, she can let herself hate the error message and bear down in frustration each time a message appears.

One approach will lead to growth and the other will lead to painful frustration.

We encounter error messages, in life, all the time.  Those things don’t go quite right based on our narratives about the world, in professional, personal, political, or social spheres.  

Let us try to welcome these messages with a compassionate curiosity and generous engagement, and, when we fail, resolve to become curious about what keeps us from being able to do so.