2006
05.09

I undertook some nice personal development on my contract hour-and-ten-minute lunchbreak, reading Agile Software Development. It looks a real spoddy, dry, technical book, like an anthology of video recorder manuals. But <music sting> you can’t tell a book by its cover</music sting>. It’s starting off full of fascinating high-level food for thought stuff, such as how the meaning of communication impacts development. Anyway, one of these things are the three stages of learning (as explained by Aikido):

Shu
Level 1: learn by rote. Do not try and understand why you are doing it or the motive of your trainer. Examples are the Big Processes like those of large consultancies.
Ha
Level 2: detach from the mechanical and explore alternative paths. Classic books like Code Complete fall into this category.
Ri
Level 3 (equivalent to PhD research or higher): become fluent in your domain, able to weave from multiple threads simultaneously. Become Zen-like in how goal-oriented & integrated your flow is.

Very pedagogic (science of learning). Made me realise that often I try and apply Level 2 stuff when I should be restricting myself to Level 1 (e.g. in learning to drive). This is an insight into why I may take a while to start learning something completely new ‘from scratch’ but then overtake others after a while. Very good book so far.

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