Category Archives: Individual Apprenticeship Pattern

Learn How You Fail Individual Apprenticeship Pattern

This week for CS448 – Capstone, I read about the “Learn How You Fail” Individual Apprenticeship Pattern, which jumped out to me as I have been considering and focusing on some of my weaknesses as I prepare to graduate and search for an entry-level position.

This pattern similarly focuses on embracing failure and weaknesses as a learning opportunity that is essential for personal and professional growth, and doing so is a crucial part of the journey of the software craftsman. Rather than looking at negatives and seeing them as a setback, “Learn How You Fail” encourages developers to confront their mistakes, analyze them/their origin, and derive valuable lessons that contribute to their ongoing growth.

By doing so in a calm, focused and organized manner, developers can really be thought of as simply taking the necessary steps to progress rather than being caught on a setback and needing to reconsider an approach (or similar). A large part of this pattern is simply mental – viewing failures as stepping stones toward mastery rather than indications of incompetence.

One of the key aspects of this pattern is the necessity of self-awareness. Developers must be able to critically reflect on their actions, decisions, and outcomes. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, they can identify areas for improvement and take proactive steps to address them. This self-awareness also fosters humility, as developers recognize that no one is perfect and there is always room to learn and grow.

Finally, the “Learn How You Fail” pattern emphasizes the importance of perseverance. Failure can be discouraging, but it should not be a reason to give up. Instead, developers should use setbacks as motivation to keep pushing forward, armed with the knowledge and insights gained from their failures. With each failure comes an opportunity to iterate, improve, and ultimately succeed.

I particularly appreciate this pattern because I have implemented it several times successfully and have adopted it as a general approach to life. Everyone has imperfections and weaknesses, so it’s most important to acknowledge and be aware of these so we can aim to improve upon them over time and lessen their impact on our day-to-day, career, and every other aspect of our lives.

Sources: Hoover, Dave, and Adewale Oshineye. “Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman.” O’Reilly Media, 2009.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Tech. Worth Talking About by jelbirt and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.