It was there, the whole time.

For the tenth and final week of reading, I chose to read the pattern, Use the Source. This pattern focuses on the problem that without the presence of good source code to study, practice, and emulate, you can’t get better, and you might continue developing bad habits you didn’t know you have. The solution provided is to find another person’s code and start reading them. This will enable you to learn how they wrote their code and understand the thought process that made that code. The recommendation includes examining open source projects and examining them for why they work in such a way. Also, to attempt and refactor codebases to understand the decisions programmers make and why they didn’t choose a different way. This process also leads to why there is appreciation for code reviews and pair programming. Having other people read your code, you read theirs, everyone can learn from each other. Allowing yourself to get a feel for good and bad code, you can develop a better understanding of yourself and how to improve.

This pattern is interesting because I never thought about using open source projects as a way of learning. I always took open source projects as a way of getting things from the community and as a way of contributing back to the project. However, using it as a way of reading well maintained code, reading practice, and understanding the thought process is a creative way of using publicly available projects.

This pattern is also useful because once you have seen the code, you might remember it for later as the code is not textbook examples. Examining, dissecting, and understanding code from real world projects allow you to see more, retain more, and most likely apply it in your own code later on.

The pattern has caused me to change the way I think about my intended profession because there are many different ways of improving yourself as a software developer. Being on the look out for readily available information and tools and being creative with the resources you do have access to can make a difference. As such, this pattern is incredibly helpful at showing that sometimes resources for learning can be right in front of you, you just weren’t creative enough to know it was there from the start.

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