Red Squirrel Reflections
Dave Hoover explores the psychology of software development

Dave Hoover
dave.hoover@gmail.com

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Sun, 22 May 2005

Looking for The Quality Without a Name

In preparation to continue our work on the apprenticeship pattern language, I'm reading Christopher Alexander's The Timeless Way of Building, the book that precedes A Pattern Language. The Timeless Way focuses (so far) on the Quality Without A Name. Whether any of the apprenticeship patterns that have emerged thus far capture this quality is yet to be seen, but I know that there have been specific times during my apprenticeship when I have experienced what Alexander describes.

I have experienced this self-sustaining wholeness when I have read The Right Book At The Right Time as a result of Constructing My Curriculum. This wholeness comes when the ideas in the book are directly relevant to what I am learning in practice, or when they tie together in theory what I have read in more practical books that vary across time and subject.

I have experienced this self-sustaining wholeness several times since leaving my previous employer. My Accurate Self-Assessment informed me that I was a novice, and yet it was becoming difficult to Ignore My Title because I had quickly surpassed my co-workers. As I sought to Be The Worst I found my way to ThoughtWorks. Being a ThoughtWorker has allowed me to apply more of these apprenticeship patterns than anywhere else.

And hooking together patterns is at the center of the Quality Without A Name...

"The quality without a name appears, not when an isolated pattern lives, but when an entire system of patterns, interdependent at many levels, is all stable and alive." p. 131

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