Balancing solo-work and team-work

For the eighth week’s reading, I chose to read the pattern, Confront Your Ignorance. This pattern takes on the problem that you have gaps in your skillset that is needed for the job. These could be tools or techniques that you are already expected to know but you don’t and need a place to begin. The solution to this problem is custom to the person in need, there are many different ways to start. Two ways suggested are trying to start with introductory material or jumping straight into hands on learning. It is mentioned that even if you are doing this in private to learn and apply it in the workspace, there are issues that could arise. One is that you are using work project experience for private projects solely for yourself and not the team. Another would be that the team will not be able to help you, learn with you, or help you along the way. As an apprentice, you should be learning in public where others can see the way you work.

The interesting part of this pattern is about the negative side effects from learning in private. When you work as a team, it is expected that you fail together, learn together, and learn from each other. By working solo and focused on improving your own performance, you are neglecting your team in the process. Another negative would be that you chose to implement a feature or system that has already been created elsewhere. By implementing your own version of it, the other members of your team are now required to learn from you about the system. This is a drawback and should be carefully considered when valuing your company’s resources and teammates workload.

This pattern has caused the way I think about my intended profession because there is a need for balance in terms of solo and team activity. If the workload shifts towards solo, then you aren’t benefiting your community. But if the workload shifts towards the team, then you are over reliant on the team. What I learned is that, you must know how to balance your learning such that everyone is winning in the end.

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