The best thing you can do is to start making mistakes

Pair programming is amazing. Looking at your own codes for hours on end makes you overlook the smallest mistakes. When debugging instead of reading the code we recite it in your mind, because we think we know what we wrote. When someone else sits next to me and point out obvious mistakes I made I yell "fire!" and use the distraction to quicly fix the error. No, I don't really do that, I would have to come up with too many puns and my creative moments are as rare as gold. But I am not afraid of making mistakes.

Almost every day I have the chance to work with new people in different teams and I can't help but notice how much people are affraid to make mistakes. I don't breath down their neck or watch every keystroke they type. For that matter I don't even look threatening. But I do find it funny how much they hesitate to run their code. I have had someone debug JavaScript in his mind rather then run it on the page or compiler. I know nobody likes to see the red text followed by gibberish when there is an error, but the good thing is when you see the error you fix it and you move on.

Learning from mistakes

Unless you are trying to hot fix a bug in your production box, you shouldn't hesitate to run your code. If you are hesitating to run something on production maybe you shouldn't be there in the first place.

I read this recently and I hope it can inspire you to go out there and make a mess as soon as possible:

The four stages of competence:

  • Unconscious incompetence - When you don't know how bad you are or what you don't know.
  • Conscious incompetence - When you know how bad you are and know what steps you need to take to get better.
  • Conscious competence - When you're good and you know it (this is fun!)
  • Unconscious competence - When you're so good you don't know it anymore.

We all start at stage one whether we like it or not. The key to progressing from stage one to stage two in any subject is to make lots of mistakes and get feedback. If you're getting feedback, you begin to create a picture of what you got right, what you got wrong and what you need to do better next time.


There are no comments added yet.

Let's hear your thoughts

For my eyes only