A Constant State of “Update”(ing): Using Apprenticeship Patterns to Become a Master Programmer

“Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman” has been considered to be an acclaimed read by many of my fellow students. After giving the book a try, I can also see why it is such a big hit. In essence, this book speaks to programmers on a “relatable, spiritual” level on how to turn their passion for software development into a lifelong process of constant improvement.

To be honest, the most interesting part of the reading for me was found in Chapter 4: Accurate Self-Assessment. This is because it is instrumental to my learning style that I am “the worst of a group”, or that I am always in a zone that I need to focus on improvement. Throughout my college career, I have been the type of person to rant and rave about how “I’d rather get a ‘C’ and master two programming languages, than receive an ‘A’ and still show evidence of struggling with one.”

Considering my own views on how I work with software, I feel as though this book has been mainly a “rehash”, or a reinforcement of my beliefs. This is due to several factors, including the “Be the Worst” philosophy as mentioned in “Accurate Self-Assessment”; this can also be seen in “Chapter Two: Emptying the Cup”, where they state the importance of becoming extremely proficient with your first programming language.

Unfortunately, as amazing as this book is, I cannot say that I agree with every last line of its code. One spot where a “warning of disagreement” occurs is when “Chapter 6: Construct Your Curriculum” does just that – it tells me how to create my own study plan (outside of college classrooms and office hours). Perhaps this makes me contradict myself with my own “unorthodox schedule”, but I learn best when I don’t feel like it’s forced. Instead, my most efficient learning is recreational; it seems as though material sticks with me the best when I ingest it in the same way that one would ingest a juicy diary or a football roster.

For me, I found the chapter “Walking the Long Road” to be the most useful for continuing my career as a software engineer. This is due to the fact that it acts as a reason for using the philosophies found in “Accurate Self-Assessment”. By this, I mean that people (including myself) need to understand that becoming a master craftsman, and especially a master programmer, does not “just happen” overnight. it takes years upon years of grinding, of constantly “being wrong” and being challenged to find alternative solutions to problems.

Overall, “Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman” has been a fun, yet informative read. As mentioned before, I agree with most of the book; even in times of disagreement, I can see where the authors are coming from. I am looking forward to the applications of this book in my career as an aspiring software developer.

Published by Mike Morley (mpekim)

Current student at WSU. Knowledgeable of C/C++, Java and Python. Always interested in learning the basics of as many languages as possible.

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