Apprenticeship Patterns: Create Feedback Loops

In this post, I will be covering the importance of the “Create Feedback Loops,” pattern. This pattern highlights the significance of assessing your skills with feedback, and the more criticism you receive, the better. The book provides an excellent quote that is true about self-assessments, in that they are “only relative to the abilities you used to have, and will always lack objectively.” Also, depending on who provides your critique it could be misrepresented. For example,  if you are active on an above average team, you may think you’re a great performer, but in reality, your skillets is average. Alternatively, your above average coworkers could make you feel incompetent if they have more experience or are better developers. In the case of participating on a below-average team, you could also have a misunderstanding of your current performance and overall progress.

The book provides insight into creating mechanisms that are good for acquiring feedback. One of the first ideas is one that automatically comes to my mind when discussing this topic, and that is test-driven development. This development promotes an active coding environment where you are consistency testing and analyzing your results. Along with collaboration from other developers, you are acquiring real-time feedback on your progress. Another way to acquire an assessment about your skill quality is by completing recognized exams and certificates that are valued in your field. In my opinion one the best ways is to ask people how they honestly think you are doing. This may seem awkward but it is very beneficial to know the positive and negative facets of your personality that you were oblivious to. While these mechanisms are important, it is also critical that you use the information that you’ve gained about yourself and effectively improve on it.

Personally, I think this pattern is useful for all levels of programmers on the software craftsmen journey. Feedback loops are present one way or another on teams that are productive and good at communicating. However, I will definitely be using this throughout my career, before, during, and after every project, to keep myself in check. This will be effective for tracking my personal progress, as well measuring my impact to my work environment. Overall, I really enjoyed learning about feedback loops and I am excited to implement them in my life.


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