The Importance of Sharpening the Saw

Today I popped into Starbucks and saw a sign at the register that said they would be closed from 5:30 – 9:00 this Tuesday for Espresso Training. The sign went on to say how important quality is and that the training is necessary to maintain quality. I thought maybe it was just this one store, but now I see it is nation wide.

So what about our industry, why isn’t regular training more of a priority? Some of the companies I have worked for have, on occasion, sent me to training but usually that was because a specific skill was required. What about the regular training and learning that makes you a better developer, where is the priority for that?

In a perfect world, maybe your company would arrange for your continued development, but that’s pretty unlikely. The reality is that we as developers are responsible for staying current and looking for tools and techniques to make us better. We’re the only ones that are going to know what we need to learn to fill in the gopher holes. Whenever I am in crunch mode, the first thing that suffers is learning: I don’t take the time to try new tools, I read fewer blog posts, and I certainly don’t take the time to write any blog posts.

I’m going to try and make regular time for sharpening the saw. If it’s good enough for Starbucks, it’s good enough for me.

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