Walking the Long Road: The Long Road

In this Apprenticeship pattern “The Long Road”, it gives us an overview about “the journey” that an apprentice goes through to study, learn, and develop his own craft. Considering that there may be shortcuts towards mastering your craft, it always best to let the journey carry you as a developer because the little things you experience along the way will help you become better overall. Not only the experience is important, but it is also important to understand that there isn’t a literal “mastered” status for a developer where you stop learning or stop to further develop your craft. It is always ongoing because there will always be something new in the programming realm to learn and study for the simple fact that technology is always a growing and advancing industry.

“First, accept the fact that you may be considered a bit strange for what you want to become. Second, keep your focus on the long term. During your apprenticeship, value learning and long-term growth opportunities over salary and traditional notions of leadership. People aspiring to become masters of software craftsmanship need to plan for the long term. This long (yet bright) journey will bring you a rich set of abilities. You will become skilled at learning, problem solving, and developing strong relationships with your customers. You will come to wield knowledge and technology as the samurai uses his short and long swords. You will come to comprehend and appreciate the deeper truths of software development. But all this will take time.”

This idea stood out to me the most and it definitely changed the way I think about the journey on mastering my craft as a developer. Back when I was just learning my first programming language, which was C++, I thought that quickly becoming proficient proved that I was a “master” at it. Now I realized that wasn’t the case. After realizing this, the process of mastering a craft has to take time. The process can involve making mistakes, but that’s fine. For me as an individual, I learn best after I make the mistakes so I know what not to do and I know how to approach the problem the right way.

Considering that I do want to become a video game developer, this pattern also taught me that aspirations to be in leadership positions such as a manager or other promotional positions can get in the way of the learning and growth opportunities on becoming a master craftsman. Now when I approach the position of a video game developer, I’ll be sure to love the journey to grow and become the best developer and programmer I can be.


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