Study the Classics

Before I became a Computer Science major and aspiring software craftsman, I was very much into reading what many people would consider “the classics”. Whether it was the Iliad and the Odyssey or A Brief History of Time, I have always been fascinated by works of literature that had such significant content or perspectives on the world that they were revered throughout centuries as “the classics”.

So when I came across this pattern, Study the Classics, I immediately resonated with the context they put forth and their motivation for including it in their book. The solution / action which they suggest to us budding apprentices is to collaborate with others and ask about a concept unfamiliar to us and to try and seek out the book which that concept was written about.

Immediately my mind drifted back to learning the Gang of Four’s software design pattern book, which I know for a fact to be highly revered and considered one of the “classic texts” in our craft. Even when I first read it for school assignments, I was enamored by how rich the concepts were and how articulately they were explained. My learning and overall understanding of software development as a whole is unquestionably markedly better than it ever would have been had I not been exposed to this book.

At the same time, I am aware that as good as this book is, and as valuable and timeless as the information in it is, it is definitely not a holy bible for software developers. There can not exist one text to rule them all, because there is no single entity capable of compiling everything we would possibly want or need to know into a single source. So in the future I will definitely seek out multiple individuals or groups of authors who are very well known and revered in our field, so I can add their works to the collection of books I need to read to be as knowledgeable and as prepared as possible for the uncertain road that lies ahead of me in my journey to competence in software development.

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