Studying the Classics

For this weeks Blog Post I will be looking into the pattern known as “Study the Classics” where one is but to study the classics. The context behind this one is that you are self-taught or valued skill training over theory. The problem that would arise from this could be experienced people collaborating with you are constantly referencing concepts that they have assumed you read. But since you are value practice over theory you may have skipped over this reading/research. This will of course cause some problems, perhaps nothing serious but will lead to some confusion between the two parties. A solution to this is go back and study the classics if you will. If you were to pick up a book and think how old or out of date this book is, then you are probably reading the wrong kind of book. Successful apprentices will tend to focus on long lived books (classics) and use the internet or through practice to see how the information has evolved exactly. A classic they give in the excerpt is “The Psychology of Computer Programming” while this is “dated” wit h its punch cards and room sized computer parts the book was non the less relevant with is wisdom. Classics portray vital information to keep you heading in the right direction down on the Long Road, another apprenticeship pattern. By just focusing on classics you may take it to far and abandon more pragmatic knowledge and information that would enable you to improve your day to day craftsmanship. A simple remedy to this is to just mix the classics with modern, pragmatic books and/ or articles to your reading list. A way for this to act is simply pick up the oldest book in your pile. Or if you are looking through another developers book, take not of the oldest books and ask them why they still own them, sparking a conversation relevant to its wisdom it gave. Overall this is something I see myself doing down the road.


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