The pattern I decided to read is titled “Concrete Skills” from chapter 2 of Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye. This pattern starts off by discussing how hiring managers have no incentive to hire someone who can not directly contribute to a team’s workload. Hoover and Oshineye ask the following rhetorical question from a recruiters point of view: “If we hire you today, what can you do on Monday morning that will benefit us?”. In short, the solution to this problem is to develop and maintain some concrete skills. We learn that with time we will become less dependent on our concrete skills and get hired through the reputation we have garnered from notable projects. This pattern ends by giving the reader a recommendation on how they can begin developing some concrete skills.
The thing I found most interesting from the reading is that at some point in my journey I will become less dependent on my concrete skills. My portfolio and “deeper qualities” will be what matter more. This was interesting to me because in a section that stresses the importance of learning concrete skills in the beginning of my professional journey, I am still getting a message that soft skills are important. This shows me how there is an important balance of maintaining the hard skills I’ve learned in addition to being a team player, having good communication, being empathetic and having many other traits that fall under the soft skills category.
Overall, there isn’t anything that stands out that I strongly disagree with in the reading. As far as how this pattern has caused me to change the way I think, I would say that it has emphasized the importance of regularly updating my resume with technical skills since this is something many hiring managers focus on. Since there are plenty of skills I’ve been developing in school this past year, I took the advice from this pattern to heart and almost immediately started jotting down the skills I have started developing. I also started looking into CVs online for inspiration of concrete skills I want to develop and to add to my own resume.