TITLE: Take Small Steps AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: March 07, 2014 2:24 PM DESC: ----- BODY: If a CS major learns only one habit of professional practice in four years, it should be:
Take small steps.
A corollary:
If things aren't working, take smaller steps.
I once heard Kent Beck say something similar, in the context of TDD and XP. When my colleague Mark Jacobson works with students who are struggling, he uses a similar mantra: Solve a simpler problem. As Dr. Nick notes, students and professionals alike should scale the step size according to their level of knowledge or their confidence about the problem. When I tweeted these thoughts yesterday, two pieces of related advice came in: Of course, I've always been a fan of baby steps and unusual connections to agile software development. They apply quite nicely to learners in many settings. -----