Sara Simon, Learning Fluency:
I’m writing this piece because building software is half strategy and half improvisation, and I really do think there are ways to train in both.
Given that my own background has a lot of overlap with her story, this struck a chord with me. The diverse interests, the broad learning, the liberal arts background. You can focus on computer science (or software engineering1) early and go as deep as possible, as fast as possible. But you’ll miss things.
But something else struck me here in Sara’s essay — something that should have been obvious to me because I have small children: that our important learning comes not in these big flashes (at least not most of the time), but in the repetition of small things. My kids do this.2 A tiny thing gets repeated over and over again3 until it’s mastered, and then it’s just… there.4
- Or any field that strikes your fancy, really. [↩]
- Just yesterday I watched for five minutes as my youngest fumbled with a button on his shirt. He eventually got it through the buttonhole. But man, there was some outrage at the offer of assistance. [↩]
- ”What are you doing in there? Seriously? All day with that?” But put all that tedious stuff under the right lens and it sure sounds like they’re being productive. [↩]
- And again: this should have been obvious to me from my recent study of Scrum and Agile, and its alignment to shu-ha-ri. [↩]