Step 22: Do Lots of Deliberate Practice ~ Jon Jagger

This is the 22nd Step towards gaining the Programming Enlightenment series. If you didn’t learn the 21st Step, read it.

Always ask questions, What, Why, How, When, Where?

There is nothing wrong with asking questions. You may seem to be fool for a while, but if you don’t ask you will be a fool forever.

We should always be asking questions in whatever errand we perform.

What is Deliberate Practice?

It’s not just performing a task.

Ask, “Why am I performing this task?”, and your answer is “To complete the task”, then that’s not a deliberate practice.

There is little point deliberately practicing something you are already an expert at. Deliberate practice means practicing something you are not good at.

Why should we do Deliberate Practice?

We should do deliberate practice to improve upon ourselves. It’s about learning skill and technique. It’s challenging our comfort zone and constantly learning.

Deliberate Practice means repetition. It’s the aim to increase our skills slowly, over and over again and again.

How much Deliberate Practice is required?
“The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.” ~ Stephen McCranie

I don’t know the scientific explanation behind the 10,000 hours but it sure does takes lot’s of failure and practice with discipline and patience to become master of your trade.

In Leading Lean Software Development Mary Poppendieck notes that “It takes elite performers a minimum of 10,000 hours of deliberate focused practice to become experts.

How should we accomplish Deliberate Practice?

Greatness is largely a matter of conscious choice. Your CHOICE.

Greatness is due to acquiring expertise by spending time doing deliberate practice.

  • Mary: “There is broad consensus among researchers of expert performance that inborn talent does not account for much more than a threshold; you have to have a minimum amount of natural ability to get started in a sport or profession. After that, the people who excel are the ones who work the hardest.”
  • Peter: “The key [to developing expertise] is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes.”
  • Mary: “Deliberate practice does not mean doing what you are good at; it means challenging yourself, doing what you are not good at. So it’s not necessarily fun.”

TL;DR Leave your comfort zone of doing what you know. Practice at your work so that you will be good at something you are not.