Individual Apprenticeship Patterns

Of the list provided above, I will go into detail summarizing specific patterns I find to be interesting or relevant.

I will begin with the pattern titled “Be the Worst.” The title is somewhat misleading, since the objective is actually to improve yourself at every opportunity. If you find yourself as the biggest fish in the software development pond, this pattern encourages you to find work in a bigger pond with bigger fish. Now, you can learn more from them and work your way up to being the biggest fish again, then repeat the process. From the standpoint of prioritizing knowledge above all else, this pattern makes sense, however, I don’t think I have the courage to follow it.

I can relate this to my current job at Best Buy. When I was first hired, I knew nothing about TVs, security cameras, and appliances also I didn’t know as much as I needed to about routers, car improvements, and drones. I struggled for the first few months as I awkwardly tried to give customers the answers I thought of on the top of my head. That period of employment sucked and I knew as I learned and practiced talking, I would get much better at it. As a result, my sales would improve, my job gets easier, and the customer buys something they actually need.

This pattern would encourage me to quit my job and go work at staples or another retailer where I knew nothing about the products, so that I may learn them all over again. This comes with great awkwardness, and the customers can always tell when I don’t know what I am talking about. This move seems absurd, certainly not worth it unless it came with a higher pay, to which I’d talk to my manager at Best Buy for a raise first. If this experience is like dealing with a new group of software developers, it would be a very difficult decision for me to leave my current group.

Another relatable pattern the article mentions is “Expose Your Ignorance.” This is about humbly accepting that you need help and actively seeking it despite looking stupid. It is very easy to feel ashamed for not having knowledge, based on the fear that it is very easy for people with knowledge to look down on those that don’t. Nobody really wants to raise their hand in class, a setting designed for answering questions, in fear of their question indicating they are ignorant. This is very destructive, very common behavior and overcoming it is necessary to learn more efficiently.


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