Break Things! Don’t take this literally it might cost your job :).
In Software Development these words are expensive and never will you hear from the management. Well one thing I learned from years of experience is that
I only learn when I break things.
The fear of breaking functionality or feature has always kept you from learning. There are many ways to cultivate this habit and keep your job.
Now when you learn anything you start with Hello World!. By following the instructions, you have created something new. But you have not learnt it yet.
To learn you need to Break!. Now skip one of the steps from the instructions and see the errors that you get and follow the same by skipping the steps one by one you choose.
Now instead of only seeing the Hello World! printed out you would have seen enough errors that likely you would see in the real world as well.
This is where the fear seeps in!. Here usually we fear to even fix something assuming it breaks somewhere else.
There is no ideal code in this world once any software has gone from being a teenager. Everyone expects the code to behave,as the social barriers have formed and the reputation takes over.
One way to learn from these huge systems is by going through code some else has written this is the best way to learn. Never complain about anyone’s code, it might not always be a lack of knowledge there are a thousand factors that could have evolved to what it has become now. The top factor is Time given to complete a feature or bug.
So, in this case, another way to learn is to complete the given task of bug/feature and then work on a different experiment branch and see what are the things that you would do better. try it out there, this where we are allowed to think outside the box. If all goes well get that back to your feature branch.
Now do not fear for the bugs, even if it appears in production follow the same process and repeat. Until you have your experiment branches its only the surface you know. experiment branches allow you to dig deeper into the monster’s mind.
Fear is a good thing when time is not your side!
To learn, Experiment!
Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash