Dig Deeper

With the final sprint of the semester underway, I have had to learn several new technologies for our LFP microservice over the semester. This has led me to obtain only the necessary knowledge to move forward in the project. Apprenticeship Patterns: Guidance for the Aspiring Software Craftsman,by Dave Hoover and Adewale Oshineye, has a pattern that addresses this problem: “Dig Deeper.”

“When you read a tutorial, you should not be looking for code to copy but for a mental structure in which to place your new knowledge. Your goal should be to understand the historical context of the concept and whether it is a special instance of something else.”

The apprenticeship pattern, “Dig Deeper,” discusses the downfalls of having a shallow knowledge base and the need for obtaining a deep knowledge of how the tools and technologies work. There are several advantages to having this level of understanding, including: improving confidence, providing a starting point when joining a new team, and improving interview skills. The pattern refers to programmers with this knowledge as “cathedral builders.” These “cathedral builders” can debug, decompile, and reverse-engineer code. The best way to obtain this knowledge is to read specifications and familiarize yourself with debuggers.

The need for this pattern’s practice is like the need to learn history. Learning the history of a tool or technology will prevent repetition of previous mistakes and illuminate the reasons for the inner working’s current state. In addition to learning the history, it is important to dive into the different layers behind the tech and learning how the system works as a unit.

I realize my current understanding of the technologies I have been using for our LFP microservice is shallow and now, I have a direction I had not thought of looking into yet, debuggers.

A problem I have with this pattern is deciding where to start, as any time used to dig deeper is time that cannot be used for learning a new tech. This problem will likely resolve itself, though, once I decide upon a career path. For now, I can just dig deeper into our LFP microservice’s technologies: MongoDb, Node.js and its packages, angular, docker, and all the testing frameworks.

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