The next Apprenticeship pattern I would like to discuss is titled “Nurture Your Passion.” This pattern is targeted at software developers whose work environments drain them of their passion for creating software. It emphasizes that a passion for software craftsmanship is crucial for improving our skills, and that we should take steps to protect our passion if we find ourselves in such an environment. The pattern suggests several techniques we can use to strengthen our passion for software development. These include investing time into enjoyable projects, joining groups that focus on our interests, and changing our work environments.
As I mentioned in my post on “Breakable Toys,” I have struggled to stay passionate about programming since I started college. When software development became the focus of my education, I stopped working on personal projects because they took time away from more important (yet far less enjoyable) class assignments. This really damaged my ability to enjoy programming, and I think that following this pattern’s tips could help me regain some of my passion. I already expressed my desire to start working on personal projects on my own time again in my “Breakable Toys” post. While this pattern recommends this once again, it also provides several new suggestions that I think could be just as useful.
The pattern first recommends focusing on enjoyable topics while working as a way to make work less draining. This suggestion changes my perspective on how I should go about my work, as I have generally not prioritized my own interests during assignments. For example, I have recently been working on testing for my group’s project in CS-448, which has been exhausting for me since I dislike writing tests. I might try to contribute to more interesting aspects for the remainder of the project so that I can be more invested in it. The pattern also recommends joining groups and reading books that focus on topics of interest. Groups haven’t really worked for me in the past, and I’ve never been a fan of reading, but knowing that these options could help nurture my passion might make them worth trying. Finally, the pattern recommends having a list of positive ideas to talk about whenever work conversations become exhausting. Although I’m not great at conversation, I think this might be an action worth taking. Even if I never have a work environment that completely engages me, talking about my interests with others might be enough to keep my passions alive.