Category Archives: Sweep The Floor

Sweep The Floor

This post will be about the “Sweep The Floor” apprenticeship pattern from the book, Apprenticeship Patterns by Adewale Oshineye and Dave Hoover. This pattern is about finding your place on your team, contributing to the teams work to earn their trust and respect, and growing as a developer. The pattern suggests taking on the undesirable peripheral tasks when joining a new team/project. This will help you learn more about the project, development as a whole, and will keep you away from the core of the project. These tasks are often overlooked in education so this can help you fill in the gaps of education while working on something low risk. This does not mean lack in quality though. keep good quality, as bad quality on these portions of the project can become troublesome later on.

There are some problems with this pattern mentioned by the authors that I agree with. One is that you may become the guy who they use to do such dirty work, lacking in opportunity to work on more challenging tasks. Another problem is that you may become intimidated by anything that isn’t the easy yet boring work. Although you learn from this work, there becomes a point where you start to plateau from lack of challenge. The authors solution for these problems are to advocate for yourself and look for every opportunity where you can show them you are capable of contributing to higher tier work. Showing them enthusiasm and skill should make them realize that you are ready and capable to move on to more skillful tasks.

I found this useful because everyone has this starting point where they’re at their first job in a profession and need to gain the trust of their team members. Showing them that you are there to contribute can go a long way and nothing shows that better than when you do the tasks that no one wants to do. Although I already had an idea of this, the book really gave me a solid idea of what to expect to do at my first job as a developer and how to get my team to welcome me.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Austins CS Site by Austin Engel and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.