Apprenticeship Patterns

The book Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye gives great solutions/patterns for problems often faced by software developers, mainly apprentices or beginners of the craft. I have enjoyed reading up to where I have gotten so far (Chapter 1 plus 2-6 introductions) and it has taught as well as clarified many ideas and methods. One thing I have never thought of is how your first language will affect how you will think and learn other languages in the future. While this may be the case, the more diverse knowledge you have, the more you will improve upon this fact. For example (given by the book), people who are more comfortable with object-oriented languages should explore functional languages. This will broaden your understanding and problem solving. Another pattern I found interesting was the Be The Worst pattern. This discusses your environment and its relation to your growth. Being on a team where you are the best or most skilled does not give you much room or motivation to improve as you will not be learning from your peers. It suggests keeping yourself in an environment/team where you are the least skilled. This forces you to catch up to your teammates so that you don’t hold them back as well as forces the habits, ideas, and information of your higher skilled teammates upon you. A few patterns that addressed things I already “knew” but clarified the process at which I should take are Expand Your Bandwidth and Reading List. If you want to be a software developer then you should already know that you will be constantly learning. Expand Your Bandwidth gives solutions on how to learn more than what your job teaches you. It gives examples such as joining online academic courses, following influential developers on social media, contacting authors and more. This gives you a starting point from which you can come up with your own ways of learning or just to boost you in the right direction. The other pattern, Reading List, gives great methods on organizing your book backlog. The first suggestion is to not only keep a list of books you wish to read but the ones that you have read as well. This allows you to keep track of the books you’ve read from which you can review and find gaps or trends in your learning. This can direct you/help decide what you should read next. The pattern also suggests that you keep your book list as a priority queue. If you find a book on a topic that would be more useful or has a higher urgency then put it at the top of the list. If the bottom of the list gets to the point where you will probably never read the books in those spots then thats okay because it clearly is not a priority. I like the way this book structures these patterns too. The authors organize these patterns into Context, Problem, Solution and Action. This makes it easier to understand rather than if they were just put into normal paragraphs.

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