Category Archives: Be the Worst

Apprenticeship pattern: Be The Worst

I was reading the pattern Be The Worst which actually explains how it is important to take a step back and improve our skills as Software developers. Sometimes we hate being surrounded by people who are smarter, fast learners than us because we feel a sort of complex of inferiority to think that we’re not better than them and can or will never be. That is one thing that I struggled with personally because instead of wanting to be with people who had more experience, and skills than me, I would rather be with those who are not stronger than me to feel more skilled than them.

Reading this pattern made me understand that sometimes, being the worst in a team (meaning that you do have skills and knowledge but they know more than us) helps us grow a lot and improve even more than what we already have.

One thing that I think all the Software Developers have is that they all have a competitive spirit, which is not bad at all but it just pushes them all to want to be all equal and want to feel stronger, smarter than others. We all want to be good and the best at Software Development, but we need to understand that to be good, we need to surround ourselves with the good ones and learn from them, their experiences, skills, and knowledge.

One thing that we need to keep in mind is that those people who became stronger, smarter, and best at their work (Software Developers) were like us too and surrounded themselves with the best and had to feel/be the worst at some point of their life. We don’t become good at something without sacrifices, determination, and dedication.

One part of this pattern that I loved was mentioned in this pattern is that making mistakes is not a problem, but also that there are fewer chances of making mistakes because other members of that team will help prevent that to happen. It’s only when you work on your own that you will see how much your team increases your productivity and realize how much you have learned.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Gracia's Blog (Computer Science Major) by gkitenge and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Be the Worst

When reading this chapter, I found it challenging because I asked myself who actually wants to be the worst? I tried to project myself and put myself in that specific position and I found it very hard to do. However, after second thoughts, deep reading, and analysis, I am very impressed and humbled by the content of this book and this chapter. They say: “You have to be the best”, “You have to master what you do”, “You have to always be the head”. However, we never hear the opposite of those sentences. We never hear: “Be the worst”, “It’s okay to start at the end of the queue”, “We all started from the bottom”. It is discouraging to know that nowadays when working as an apprentice, the expectation and the pressure is greater than the willingness to be understanding and people tend to forget that they have been there once and act as if they were the best from the start.

 There are points the author mentioned that I found important when being the worst in a team. He talks about couple of risks associated with it like brining the team down, the risk of getting fired when falling behind or inability to catch up and feel bad about ourselves. This part tells us that it is a great thing to accept being the tail of a lion. However, it comes with some risks that require hard work and regularly updating ourselves on where am I? Am I making progress? How much time the team is granting me and what happens if I don’t meet specifications? Being the worst is just a way to make us confident in the lion’s den, but we must really be motivated to learn, we must show the desire of doing better, bringing ideas that get us noticed with time.

The last interesting point the author mentioned was reaching out, asking to join a team and observe the team’s dynamics and ways of operation. For me, this is great because it shows the desire for personal growth and the team might be motivated to take you in because you have shown initiative and interest. I feel more confident now to “Be the Worst” in a team of professional software developers because that position will unleash my confidence, allow me to be myself, learn and improve at the same time in my craftsman’s journey.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Software Intellect by rkitenge91 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.