level up

Posted on December 13, 2012 journal tdd

** These are notes for a presentation I will be delivering at my office. It’s a review of some lessons learned while attending the Develop with Passion Ruby Primer. **

Exercise your brain to improve brain performance.

  • Isolate focus on deep skill to build neural nets as an adult.
  • Have a moment every day where you feel out of your league.
  • Don’t let background thoughts continue to linger on problems not currently under your focus.
  • Divergent thinking. See 20-30 different ways to attack a problem. not just one.


  • Offers brain training exercises.
  • It can help improve brain attributes such as working memory, visual attention, fluid intelligence, and executive function.
  • 10-15 minutes of daily exercises.

Daily Code Katas

Greatness comes from practicing; applying the theory over and over again, using feedback to get better every time. We need to separate practice from the profession. When we do a majority of our learning on the job, then we make mistakes on the job.

A good practice session, requires time without interruption and a simple thing you want to try. You need to try as many times as it takes and be comfortable with making mistakes. There needs to be no pressure.

The point of a kata is not to arrive at a correct answer but to learn along the way.


Develop a low tolerance for wasted time. Use rescue time or time snapper to find out where your time is being spent. Avoid constraining your thinking to tools. Focus on things that can get you engaged. (Use your brain)

Choose to be the change you wish to see in your environment.

  • Languages and tools don’t matter.
  • Show people how much you love what you do.

The tool should support a design.


  • Go forward with the intention of mastery in mind, not the attainment of master.
  • Mindset of the expert is bad, maintain the beginners mind.
  • Attack yourself mercilessly daily to become a master.
  • Patiently work towards something greater.

Choose to be your best everyday.

For a more thorough read check out JP’s post titled Sharpening the Sword