then I in the RH
and X in the LH
A wise and insightful set of observations. I offer that praise, of course, only because the Reindeer reflects my own experience in working with that odd codebase known as "English." I once encountered a question at a LinkedIn group I follow, which asked: "How do you prefer to write -- with pen and paper or computer?" And my answer was, "neither." I further explained that a typical 1,500 word piece gets "written" when I'm out walking, sitting in meditation, or hitting golf balls at the driving range. Very often, the "scribbling" part is done with a pocket audio recorder, so that the typing becomes more a secretarial act than a creative one (editing, however, is an entirely different story).
Perhaps the only area where I might differ from the Reindeer is in the matter of handling distractions. For me, the "cow in front of my train" can often become part of the thought. This piece, for instance, developed from such an interruption (someone drawing my attention to the Goswami rant that became the main subject of the essay). Sometimes, I have found, distraction can itself be focus disguised.
Now, as for the topic here: if the experience of watching someone code (or write, paint, or even dig a ditch) is an opening into the creative process of the work, then it's worth the watch. That is to say, it's more likely to be a waste of time than a learning experience, but the one good encounter may be worth the ten bad, as long as you can quickly recognize the difference.
A long time ago, in the mid-80’s, I got my first corporate job. I was going to be employed by one of the biggest real estate firms in NYC, working in a gleaming midtown tower and doing Important Things in a suit and tie. The shirt whose buttons could withstand my pride had not yet been invented. To celebrate before I started, I went home to bask in the glow of accomplishment amid family. In short, I imagine I was thoroughly insufferable.
Anyway, shortly before I left to return to New York and begin my corporate career, my old man took me aside. “Brian, congratulations again, and I mean that,” he said, smiling. “I just want you to understand one thing before you start. The company will ask for your loyalty — demand it, in fact. It will give you none in return. The company will ask for your sacrifice, and give you none in return. The company will ask for your trust, and give you none in return. How much of these things you give the company will depend on you and your judgment. Just don’t expect anything back except the paycheck. Do your best, but expect nothing in return from the company.”
!07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH