This Apprenticeship Pattern deals with a beginner programmer trying to enter the field by learning his first programming language. The pattern suggests various ways the beginner programmer can increase his experience, including but not limited to: learning a programming language from a friend, reading books based on it, and or joining a community around that language.
One of the things I find particularly surprising that is mentioned in this pattern is utilizing “test-driven development techniques”. While I have used testing before as I was learning my first programming language, it may have helped me learn features about the language and development in general that I haven’t yet thought of. For instance, if I create a class and I need to test it, creating test cases allows me to break down a class that I understand and view it from a different perspective.
This pattern has somewhat changed the way I think about my profession. Much of the changes in my thought about my career have to do with an explicit acknowledgement from reading this pattern, especially in relation to things I’ve known but never completely acknowledged. Mastering a programming language really does make the most sense to me, and it is something I’ll recommend when others who want to get into programming ask me.
I do disagree with two parts of this pattern. The first is in relation to which programming language one should choose. This may cause difficulty due to the issue of a complete beginner not having appropriate context to the uses of a language, and thus if left alone he could make a decision that could limit his beginning programming experience, and thereby causing a ripple effect down his career.