FEBRUARY 8, 2018

Things I learned while writing an article about things I learned

Last year, I conducted a 12 month experiment related to implementing Code Stewardship at my organization. It went ok; I think I made some progress, and I think I learned some useful things. As a next step, I felt I had these options:

  1. Do nothing; maybe switch focus to some other initiative
  2. Extend the experiment; i.e., continue working on it
  3. Share what I'd learned; e.g. internal blog post, post on my web site, perhaps write a talk and submit to a conference somewhere

I was having trouble deciding which one to choose. I procrastinated on making the decision for a month or so, but not deciding was bothering me. I felt like I was starting to default to Option 1, but if that's where things ended up I wanted it to be a conscious decision rather than just the path of least resistance.

I realized that I probably didn't have enough information to make the decision, which could be why I kept putting it off. For example, how could I decide between Option 1 and Option 2 if I didn't take time to think really critically about what impact my work was having? I decided to try Option 3, but to allow myself the potential outcome of not ever sharing what I wrote if it didn't feel useful enough.

Here's the article I wrote. (I did end up sharing it with several people at my organization.)

And here's what I learned while writing that article:

I better stop here. My manager says that if I think too hard about this, I might end up in an infinite loop.

...what did I learn while writing this article about things I learned while writing an article about things I learned...? :)

, TF