"Craftsmen can learn from apprentices"
When I was young (about 16 or 17 years old), I remember writing in my notebook something that goes like this:
(I was aspiring to become a pastor during that time)
When you are already a pastor, and you need to make some major decisions, make sure to also consult people who are much younger than you, because they might have some ideas that you and the older people failed to consider.
I think I was able to think that way because, by that time, I already saw multitudes (not really multitudes, just a few ; I’m just exaggerating) of mistakes that older people had made. Mistakes that will make you say to yourself, “Why did they do that?”
Perhaps they are just too busy, and they did not have time to consider all the implications of a decision?
Perhaps they have a different value system than I do? — What I consider a mistake was not really a mistake to them?
Perhaps they have the same value system as I do, but they were driven by a very selfish kind of desire during that time, and they were not able to recognize the selfishness of a decision — “As long as the goal is met…”?
… Or maybe they recognized the selfishness of a decision, but were so weak during that time, and so was not able to resist the temptation?
I’m not sure.
I actually fear that someday, someone will say the same things about some major decisions that I had made.
That is one of the reasons why I read books and articles, most especially those that were written by older and experienced men.
And that is one of the reasons why I like listening to younger people when they talk about their experiences, and their thoughts and ideas, most especially when those thoughts and experiences are related to the field I am involved in today — software development.
A very long introduction, right?
That is not really an introduction.
That was the whole thing.
I just decided to write this blog post when I remember the “consulting younger people” note after I read the following from the book “Apprenticeship Patterns” book by David H. Hoover and Adewale Oshineye (which is freely available online!):
Ultimately, unleashing your enthusiasm is one of the relatively few responsibilities of the apprentice. You may not bring deep knowledge or hyper-productivity, but it is your duty to inject some excitement into your team and question everything. You are in the unique (and temporary) position of having a fresh perspective, which should allow you to offer some useful suggestions for improvement.
Craftsmen learn from the apprentices, even as the apprentices learn from them. Enthusiastic beginners not only renew the craftsmen, but also challenge the craftsmen by bringing in new ideas from the outside. A well chosen apprentice can make even a master craftsman more productive.
— Pete McBreen, Software Craftsmanship, p. 75
So questioning everying can bring some excitement!?