In this post I will be discussing the apprenticeship pattern, “Record What You Learn” written by Adewale Oshineye and Dave Hoover in the book Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman, 2009. This pattern is design towards people who end up learning the same lessons over and over again or going through the same experiences or failures but can never get the details or reasons to stick.
The solution suggested is to create a blog, notebook, or wiki that you can treat as a journal and record important things that you learn. This is not to write down and forget about. Throughout your career you should return to this journal to review it and make new connections in your memory. When reviewing you should update what is written as more knowledge and experience is accumulated over time. The authors even suggest creating two blogs, one a public record and one a private. This allows you to share the lessons you have learned and also get feedback on what you have written with the public record and be able to be brutally honest with yourself in the private record. Internal and external feedback allows you to have an honest and accurate self-assessment. The main goal of this pattern is to keep a journal of your path to mastery so that you can reflect on and learn in the future.
I found this particular apprenticeship pattern interesting because this morning I was thinking about starting a notebook in which I can keep any important lessons as well as important details. This way I would be able to look back on it frequently and grow as a developer. This could include important concepts, design patterns or failures that I can learn from as I move forward. This book has provided a useful structure in which I can follow and also has inspired me to follow through with it since I have said I was going to do it a few times already but never have. Also, it has given the idea of two journals in which one can be private and one public. Maybe also different journals for different topics such as one for design patterns, one for lessons learned, one for important topics, etc.
Hoover, D. H., & Oshineye, A. (2010). Apprenticeship patterns: Guidance for the aspiring software craftsman. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly.