This week, I read the apprenticeship pattern “Dig Deeper”, and as the title suggests, this pattern was about trying to gather a much lower level understanding of some of the tools and the libraries that we use daily. The author acknowledged the fact that you do not always need to be an expert in everything to get the job done, sometimes a superficial level of many technologies is more valuable. This pattern suggested that a superficial level of understanding is needed in times where you need to just get something working, maybe you have a deadline, or you are satisfied with the way the product performs. This pattern also did a fantastic job of highlighting the value of digging deeper.
Like many of the patterns in this book, if applied, they will make you more desirable as an engineer. This pattern will not always lead to you acquiring a new skill, but rather it will sharpen your skills and give you an understanding so deep that you may find new ways to use the tools that you’ve always been using, as well as finding new solutions to that problem that has been glaring at you. One personal experience that I’ve had with this pattern was during an internship. I’ve previously had a very basic understanding of REST, and for the most part, that was enough for me to get by, but I was eventually assigned a task that required knowing more than just the basic GET, POST, PUSH, and DELETE requests. This task forced me to dig deeper into rest to understanding things like authentication, query parameters, and other low level details. Having been forced to dig deeper, I now have a much better understanding of REST and with this understanding comes the freedom to write better APIs as well as being able to diagnose issues much more quickly.
I find this pattern extremely useful, and although it may not always be possible/viable to dig deeper when working on a project, I now believe that it is always worth it to make the effort because the benefits are almost always worth the time investment.