Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2006.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Clearing out cobwebs

Posted 10 July 2006 in ingrain, learning, and repetition


Several times in the past few days I've sat down at the piano and played all of my scales. Yesterday I even played a few arpeggios! What I've noticed is that my wrists aren't hurting as much. This, coupled with good posture, thorough hydration, and reduced computing, appears to be a long-missing piece of the make-wrists-hurt-less program I've been putting myself on. Plus, the displeasing inaccuracy of my fingers is clearing up. It will take daily, routine reinforcement to see more improvement, however.


I've coded for a few hours each night for a few days now, making various improvements and changes to Sa.bros.us. What I'm finding is that, with regular exposure to programming, I'm more easily able to identify weaknesses in the code. More importantly, I'm beginning to more easily solve problems and implement solutions. Just last night I discovered two files that did exactly the same thing, excepting minor output differences. The files have since been merged (see SVN revisions 80, 81, and 82). Repeatedly hacking on the code has really been helping my enfeebled hacking skillz.


It's become apparent that teaching trig lesson twice or three times helps me better explain concepts. When I first taught Stephan, Linda, and Bri what the arc functions do - arc sine, arc cosine, and arc tangent - they didn't get it. I didn't realize that until the following week, however. Bri showed up early and asked me some questions, and when Stephan and Linda asked similar questions, I was explaining the concept for the third time. I think it probably clicked with them this time. Thanks, repetition!


I once told my best friend Eric that, "I don't think I could stand to be in politics; I'd probably die of a heart attack or brain aneurysm. Also, ulcers." I believe that. Politicians appear to exert no effort to understand the issues they legislate. J. C. Watts once said of politicians, "If you are explaining, you are losing." I believe that, too. Yet, after having been away from Slashdot for several days, the world looks less stern and foreboding. While I still care about a number of issues, I'm actually enjoying a break from political heartache. I should do it more often.


Though I've known it for years, I'm coming around to the idea that consistent, repeated exposure to something really ingrains that something into me. Repetition has been helping me clear out my mental cobwebs and hone several abilities even in the span of a few short days. I wonder what else I can build up in me?

[SVN]: Subversion [J. C.]: Julius Caesar