Saturday, March 17, 2007

The worst possible start?

During QCon Dave Thomas had a great talk about the Dreyfus model describing different skills of a person. From novice to an expert, a novice is a beginner and the best thing for that kind of person is to apply things and fulfill simple goals with guidance. The expert wants to work on intuition and don't need that much guidance.

So what happens when a new resource comes to a project? Since the ordered computer probably is a week late, the new person gets enough documents concerning the project and the architecture to keep you busy for the first week. Instead of having some simple and short tasks ready for the new person you create the worst possible start in the project. When the person have worked for a while in the project, then will he/she probably start asking for documents that can give more understanding and at that time will he also be a lot more open for the information.

So, dont I think it is a good idea that a beginner should know some of the traffic rules before he starts sharing the road with me? True but still, do you need to drive your first miles in a car on a public road? That is probaly not what the beginner wants to do either. He wants to test driving a car, probably not on a road but maybe on a gigantic carpark where the risk to meet another car is small. Maybe he also need some guideance from the teacher, lets call it pair programming. But still he wants to drive the car! When you come to your first driving lesson youre probably not very interested in how the car is built and how many cylinders the engine have.

The perfect start for a new developer is the same, not reading documents on how the architecture is built but doing simple tasks that will give a good start and interest in the project.

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