I am writing this blog post about the “Expand Your Bandwidth” apprenticeship pattern from the Apprenticeship Patterns book. To summarize the idea of this pattern, it is about learning about a greater variety of topics than just what tends to be the most relevant. The chapter describes the problem as having a narrow understanding of software development that focuses only on the low-level details of past work. The solution to this is to just start learning about different things. I think that this is a relevant concept that I seem to be dealing with at the moment. My specialty is computer science, and I have a deep understanding of many of the fundamental concepts in computer science. Software development, though, involves much more than just computer science, and I have not researched software development beyond researching computer science. The problem here is that I have a narrow understanding of software development, and the solution is to research the other topics that are important to understand besides computer science.
I think that this chapter relates closely to the “Concrete Skills” apprenticeship pattern. The main difference is that this assumes you already have a full set of skills that are already being applied in a day job, and “Concrete Skills” is about developing those skills in the first place. I have not yet begun a career in software development, though, so these problems are effectively the same. I have a narrow understanding of software development, and this narrow understanding is a set of concrete skills.
There are often times that I do research new and unfamiliar concepts, but these tend to be concepts that are still within the field of computer science and not software development. I do have a goal of learning and understanding more, and there are a lot of topics that I find interesting enough to read about, develop some experience with and practice applying. This book constantly emphasizes the importance of a willingness to read, practice, research and learn, but it puts an equal emphasis on software development. My concerns should be lessened by just applying myself more toward software development in particular.