Throughout our undergraduate studies we were taught how to read, write, test, debug and understand code. Data structures were drilled into our heads and knowing basic time complexity of methods were almost second nature to us. One thing we were never taught was the transition stage going from student to working in the industry that we have been preparing for. What is expected of new graduates and how much of the skills carry over from school? Countless questions to be answered but after reading the first chapter of ‘Apprenticeship Patterns’ it gave me a reassuring feeling that everything will work out eventually; if not ctrl+alt+del.
Right off the bat a read a sentence that intrigued me, ” Far too often, it ends with a promotion to middle management…just a few years later…”. It made me wonder if this is what the software industry is truly like. Do that many software developers crave the idea of ending their software development career so soon? For me, the feeling of being able to come up with a solution to a problem that has created a roadblock in one of my projects has got to be one of the best feelings ever so I was not quite sure why so many individuals choose to accept this management role. Was it because of a pay raise? Tired of thinking on days end? I guess I will find out in the near future.
When learning what it means to be an apprentice, I was able to put myself in the definition given, “Having the attitude that there’s always a better/smarter/faster way to do what you just did and what you’re currently doing.” This definition is true to this day because learning is part of the life of a developer no matter if you’ve just started programming or have been programming all your life; technology will always be changing and you must change with it. What I took away from this passage was that there is always an apprentice side of a developer even though the author suggest that apprenticeship is the beginning of your journey as a software craftsman. I guess in some ways our apprenticeship has already started, learning from our professors and seeking their guidance to fulfill our thirst for knowledge they could provide us.
The patterns in this chapter describes how many students graduate and go into their first job believing they know everything and how things should be done but that is not the case. One must go in with an open mind and absorb as much knowledge we can in the first few years.
This chapter teaches us to not be too caught up on the things we achieved in the past but to be able to move forward and learn new material. It also teaches us that by communicating with our team we may be able to unravel the things we don’t know even exists.
“If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room” – Some guy. On our journey we will come to this point eventually. We have learned mostly everything our company can teach us but becoming comfortable or not is up to us. We must desire to continually grow and in order to do so sometimes we must seek different organizations.
Learning a new skill is always hard at first but learning how to learn may seem even more daunting. This chapter teaches you the methods on how to learn new information and apply it to whatever you’re trying to do.
Simply seek knowledge in books for a book is worth decades of knowledge by the author.
From the blog CS@Worcester – Life in the Field of Computer Science by iharrynguyen and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.