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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fluency before documentation.

Today, I want to relate something. Unlike those full-fledged developers out there, busy coding away and doing their business, I am stepping into the developer's world, still trembling, frightened of being daunted by a plethora of concepts that has been building for the past half-century.  Maybe I'm a little too afraid, but I'm not going to step down.

Before, when excitement was surging in me, I tried to tackle the documentations on MOTU to no avail.  Perhaps, I'm stumped; I lack the foundation to help me proceed.  To proceed, I guess I need to set up a foundation of knowledge.

Yes, like what school does. At school, the teachers inculcate the basics, so that students can embark deeper into the field if their intrigue leaps over the limit. From a church, I know Brian, a high school senior heading to USC, feels committed to majoring in biology because the field really fascinates him. Perhaps AP Bio truly did wonders to his appreciation of the living world!

In the professional field, the initiative factor comes in really handy.  This is what many students lack but need most, to motivate themselves to follow the path of their dreams.   To keep initiative alive is a noteworthy task because it can downright fail or barely sustain itself.  Maybe it's the lack of money.  Or a lack of interest and enthusiasm.  Too much schoolwork!  (yeah right.)

For the developer-minded person, initiative seriously matters.  Sometimes, reading documentation and asking questions alone aren't enough to substantiate meaning in one's actions; contributions start with mastery.  Mastery begins with the own volition to build the foundation, which, in my case, would mean reading books about languages or about the art of coding first before taking on the current tasks (can't find a better way to dub them) - juju, motu, engaging in the release cycle, ubuntu accomplishments, etc.

I marveled the developers and leaders I met at UDS a couple of weeks ago.  Alejandro, a Canonical employee from Argentina, gave me the greatest impression of the magic of developers.  Learning about a field so majestic and expansive in its scope is a process that takes several years to hone, and he nailed it within a decade, in which he propelled forward by vociferously reading books like Refractoring, by Fowler, and reading code.  By developing good habits and using best practices, it became second nature to him.

I can't exude confidence without the foundation of knowledge.  Nor can I rush anything and expect core status overnight.  But with faith and a steady pace, this journey is worthwhile and will pay dutifully.  Onward to the books!

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