Pattern 6 – Be The Worst

For this post, I was looking for an eye catching pattern name and “Be the Worst” definitely caught my eye. After a second a of thought, it was pretty obvious what this pattern would be about. This pattern breaks down why it is important to not be the big fish in the little pond. It encourages apprentices to not rush into leadership roles and to not strive to become the best on your team and stagnate with your position. Instead, if you find yourself at the top and lacking learning opportunities, it may be time to move on and find the bigger pond, to surround yourself with higher tier developers when you leave.

I almost entirely agree with this pattern. I remember growing up in a relatively small town, where we had a couple athletes who were notably better than anyone else in the town at their respective sport and position. None, yes none, of them tried to get into bigger school districts where they may be challenged more and had more of an opportunity to get scholarships and even potentially make it professionally. Instead they all enjoyed their high school careers at a school with roughly 500 students in a division 3 conference. They didn’t aspire to leave the little pond and they never made it anywhere in terms of athletics. There are definitely parallels to this even in the college world and looking for positions directly out of school. There are always going to be people who are happy to just cruise by and not learn everything that they can at each step of their careers. I honestly feel like these are the people who are most likely to never even get a job in respective majors and then somehow blame the university for not finding them a job with a 2.0 GPA. No one owes you anything and you can’t expect anything to be handed to you, knowledge especially. There is always more to learn and never enough time to get everything into a four year curriculum. Never settle for being the best you know. All that means is that you need to meet more people.

The only part of this pattern I disagree with is how the authors try to sway readers from promotions. Promotions and new responsibilities even outside of coding are definitely important to becoming the best within a company. If the goal is to rise through the ranks of a company, isn’t this an obvious side effect? That being said, I will definitely consider this pattern as I move along in my career.

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