Saturday, 1 June 2013

Epiphany Of Ignorance

As you can tell by the plethora of updates recently, I have been busy beavering away on various projects and interests. Recently some revelations have really struck home and I've come to realise the vastness of my own ignorance. Here is a random selection of them :)


Confidence, or the lack of it, has been a major issue for as long as I can remember. Recently I have been effectively devoid of it, for no real good reason. For this reason I really have to focus on getting back in touch with my own innate abilities. This means trusting in myself and striving to realise my real potential (thanks to Kenric, Barry and Matt for helping me see this)!


Fooling yourself is an easy thing to do though, I need to know my current limitations. As I learnt the hard way, cargo cultism can creep up on you without you even knowing it. My experience of TDD up to now was very much limited to using it as a tool for catching bugs and evolving established designs. When it comes to using Test Driven Design to rapidly build clean code out of uncertainty, my fundamentals just aren't quite polished enough yet (thanks to Sandro and the LSCC for enlightening me)!

Basic Mastery

Sweating the small things can actually be really important, in my case mastering the basics is fundamental to building a strong foundation. There are so many metaphors and allegories I could use for this, my favourite is from Bruce Lee:

"Before I learned the art, a punch was just a punch, and a kick, just a kick. After I learned the art, a punch was no longer a punch, a kick, no longer a kick. Now that I understand the art, a punch is just a punch and a kick is just a kick."

Right now I am still working hard on learning... One of the best lessons I have learnt so far goes hand in hand with mastering the basics and that is the "Single Responsibility Principle". This applies to so many things in life, it is better to be an expert at one thing than to do many things badly (many thanks to Ben and Martijn for showing me the light on all of this)!


Practice really does make perfect. Not just any practice though, you really have to practice perfection. Getting it wrong is fine but it is always important to remember practicing is not for getting it right, it is for never getting it wrong. For instance, you practice arithmetic so you can practice calculus without worrying you got the basics wrong (thanks to Nigel for this, may you guide me for years to come)!

Faster Feedback

Achieving a long-term goal isn't done by doing a long task over time and slogging it out. Fast feedback is critical. This means doing things successfully consists of doing smaller things which aim you the right way and more importantly can tell you if you are succeeding (thanks to Kevlin for sharing the time to inspire me, you're simply awesome)!

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