This is one of my favorite patterns which is “The Deep End” because it talks about the importance of leaving our comfort zone and jump into the dep end. I love how this pattern explains the importance of being open minded and ready to confront anything because nothing guarantees that we will always be in a domain that matches our skill level.
Waiting until you’re ready can become a recipe for never doing a thing. Growth only happens by taking on the scary jobs and doing things that stretch you. There are opportunities that we will or may end up having, but they might be out of our comfort zone. Risks are opportunities seen through the half-shut eyes of fear. Meaning that taking that promotion or foreign assignment when it’s offered, even if the very real possibility of failure is staring you in the face. Being prepared to fail and recovering from that failure opens doors that the timid will never see.
Even though we advocate seeking out the most challenging tasks we are capable of, we still need to remember that if the water level is above our head, it means we’re drowning. Even in Enrique’s example, where he was changing his life in a big way, he was still moving to a country where he knew at least one person and could speak the national language. It is our responsibility to offset the risks of this approach by Finding Mentors and Kindred Spirits who can provide help when we need it.
It’s also your responsibility to Create Feedback Loops, so that if the challenging project starts to spin out of control you can catch it and get help immediately. Applying this pattern should feel brave rather than reckless. Willing to go and confront the difficulties and being ready to swim until we finally find the way out.
From the blog CS@Worcester – Software Intellect by rkitenge91 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.
In this post, I will be writing about “The Deep End” apprenticeship pattern from the book Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman by Adewale Oshineye and Dave Hoover, 2009. This apprenticeship pattern is for software craftsmen who feel that they need more experience and need to be challenged by complex problems and bigger projects. This pattern suggests that these people jump in at the deep end and just go for these challenges.
Waiting until you’re ready for too long can turn into never taking that next step and therefor never moving ahead. Rather than a plateau where you are consolidating your skills, you can end up in a rut where your lack of growth turns into mediocrity. This book suggests when offered a high-profile role, difficult problem, or large project, accept these offers. Even if you don’t feel ready, there is a reason these opportunities are available to you and you should take these opportunities and hold on tight. As the authors stated, “risks are opportunities seen through half shut eyes of fear”. Growth can only happen when you take on scary, challenging jobs. This does not mean lying to get a job you cannot do or not prepared for as you will definitely be in over your head. It means taking the opportunities as they are presented to you.
An action suggested by the authors to help you get started with this pattern is to think about your biggest most challenging projects. Write down the complexities of these projects as a reference for your new projects. Answer questions such as “what is the biggest codebase you have ever built on your own?” and “what is the biggest, most successful project you have ever worked on?” in terms of number of developers and size of the project. Find a certain way to use these questions on all of your past projects to use them as a metric or index and write it down. This will help you gauge where your next projects fall compared to you past ones. Using this chart or diagram will help you figure out which way your career is going and whether you are growing as a developer.
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.