Oh absolutely, yes: Quite a few have become very good, and regularly correct me. This is how I learned, too. Just as a great programmer knows that the code isn't done when it works -- that's when you start -- writing doesn't end with the first draft.
Verbal advice is ephemeral. It's easy to not-notice something said in passing. And while there have been situations in which I learned at a master's feet in person -- particularly when he didn't realize he was teaching -- the grunt work of getting better at my job is a processing of making small improvements. So the opportunity to see, on the page, how someone changed the text, and why... that lets me compare before-and-after at my own pace, without anyone standing over me.
Needless to say I'm still close with those who mentored me and with those whom I've mentored. But "how to mentor" is, perhaps, a different discussion.
> The whole idea is a pretty radical change from the established order. Better tools need to be built. Better protocols need to be in place more consistently. Better practices need to be thought up and deployed, because the state of it now is objectively bad at the corporate level.
I'm interested in what changes you feel need to be made to improve the process, particularly if I left them out of the white paper (to which the article linked). As you may imagine, the topic is one that interests me greatly.
I've mentored dozens of people by email and by commenting on their articles. Voice isn't necessary. Sometimes it actually gets in the way.
But yeah I also write very long emails.
As a developer named John writes, “Software development sometimes needs to be allowed to bend the rules/regulations in order to operate efficiently/quickly. Too many times, the rules (e.g., who has access, when, what can be installed, etc.) cause ridiculous delays in cycle time for development or support.”
A classic example is when developers assume always-on connectivity. “The network is not a static monolith that never changes,” one ops staffer noted. “We’re planning a data center network upgrade. It will require disconnecting every server and reconnecting them to the new switches.” That could cause some apps to think the entire world has ended and crash in an untidy heap.
Would you have included different magic spells?
When people talk about the future of technology, especially artificial intelligence, they very often have the common dystopian Hollywood-movie model of us versus the machines. My view is that we will use these tools as we’ve used all other tools—to broaden our reach. And in this case, we’ll be extending the most important attribute we have, which is our intelligence.
Part of what I like is that he sees ways to use technology for good and not for evil:
By the 2030s we will have nanobots that can go into a brain non-invasively through the capillaries, connect to our neocortex and basically connect it to a synthetic neocortex that works the same way in the cloud. So we’ll have an additional neocortex, just like we developed an additional neocortex 2 million years ago, and we’ll use it just as we used the frontal cortex: to add additional levels of abstraction. We’ll create more profound forms of communication than we’re familiar with today, more profound music and funnier jokes. We’ll be funnier. We’ll be sexier. We’ll be more adept at expressing loving sentiments.
When speculation has done its worst, two plus two still equals four. -- S. Johnson