Every little bit helps!

For the sixth week’s reading, I chose to read the pattern, Sweep the Floor. This pattern focuses on a problem where you are a new apprentice on a project. The real-world experience of joining on a team means that you have to learn about the team and the team has to learn about you. These situations are uneasy and earning the trust to contribute to the development that they have worked on before you joined is a problem to be solved. The solution provided for this is to start contributing to the project by completing tasks that the other members do not want to do. Examples provided do not entirely mean that it has to be about coding and could be other tasks such as code review, setting up a project wiki, or updating documentation. As long as you contribute to the team, they will have an easier time and appreciate your work and build trust. The objective is to build enough trust that you can take on bigger challenges and eventually become one with the team.

What I found interesting about this pattern is the excerpt in the second to last paragraph. It is the last thing a student that is about to graduate from university would want to hear. Completing your tertiary education, after spending the four years or more getting the degree, accruing massive student loans to hear someone devalue your education is heart wrenching. However, those who chose the route of getting a degree should be fully aware that this is the reality. The knowledge you gain from school is like a baseline for real work experience. Being accepted to work at a place does not automatically mean you are on the same page as everyone else. You will have to spend time as a newbie and learn about everything the company, team, or workspace has to offer.

This pattern has not changed the way I think about the profession or how it will work because everyone has to start from somewhere. As someone fresh out of school should realize that education doesn’t mean all that much when compared to actual experience in the field.

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