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You'll Never Master Programming (and that's okay)

You'll Never Master Programming (and that's okay)

A talk I gave about how there is always more to learn in programming—mastery is a moving target. I talked about getting competent, overcoming plateaus, and how important it is to get brutal feedback as you learn new things. I talked about the idea of deep focus as a means to learn quickly. I argued that focused, deliberate practice, is more valuable than throwing endless hours at a problem.

I ended with an anecdote about Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo. As he was dying, he gathered his students around him and asked to be buried in his white belt. He was the highest ranking martial artist of his time and he chose the symbolism of the beginner for his legacy. The journey and practice of continually learning is never over. What a gift that is.

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Andrew Markle

April 26, 2016
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Transcript

  1. YOU’LL NEVER MASTER PROGRAMMING (and that’s okay)

  2. None
  3. None
  4. BASE LAYER OF COMPETENCY

  5. 80/20

  6. What 20% of the Ruby standard library will allow me

    to program 80% of the things I need to program?
  7. OVERCOMING THE PLATEAU

  8. 0 15 30 45 60 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004

    2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 Typing skill plateau
  9. 1. Receive ongoing feedback to course correct and improve. DELIBERATE

    PRACTICE
  10. 2. Focus attention on a specific skill that needs to

    be learned. 1. Receive ongoing feedback to course correct and improve. DELIBERATE PRACTICE
  11. DEEP FOCUS

  12. DEEP FOCUS knowledge_acquired = time_spent * intensity_of_focus

  13. MULTITASKING == DISTRACTION

  14. So we have scales that allow us to divide up

    people into people who multitask all the time and people who rarely do, and the differences are remarkable. People who multitask all the time can’t filter out irrelevancy. They can’t manage a working memory. They’re chronically distracted. They initiate much larger parts of their brain that are irrelevant to the task at hand…they’re pretty much mental wrecks. “ ” Clifford Nass
  15. MULTITASKING == DISTRACTION Trains our brains to crave distraction.

  16. 1. Be bored

  17. 9:00 - 11:00 Read textbook and apply lessons learned to

    a codebase 11:00 - 12:00 EMAIL! TWITTER! INTERNET! 12:00 - 1:00 Write more code
  18. 1. Be bored 2. Track your focus time

  19. None
  20. 1. Be bored 2. Track your focus time 3. Be

    accountable
  21. None
  22. 1. Be bored 2. Track your focus time 3. Be

    accountable 4. Set a limit to your day
  23. BASE LAYER OF COMPETENCY

  24. OVERCOMING THE PLATEAU

  25. DEEP FOCUS

  26. None
  27. @andrewmarkle THE END