The Power of Patterns and Practices

I wrote a post, The Power of Patterns and Practices, on Sources of Insight to summarize some of the benefits of using patterns and practices as a way to organize and share knowledge.  For simplicity, I think of patterns as a way to share problem and solution pairs in context.  I think of practices as a way to share methods or techniques.   When you combine them, you effectively have an efficient way to share strategies and approaches for success in a given domain. 

While sharing patterns and practices has been effective in software, I think other industries can gain from finding ways to more effectively share patterns and practices.   Christopher Alexander, father of the pattern language movement, set a great example by creating a catalog of patterns for towns, buildings, and construction in the architecture space.  Along those lines, Michael Michalko, a former Disney imagineer, put together an amazing catalog of patterns and practices for creative thinking, in his book, THINKERTOYS.  The meta-point is that when you frame and name things, you simplify sharing knowledge in a meaningful and scalable way.

Comments (6)
  1. Martin says:

    This blog becomes more and more a "announcements blog" for your "sources of insight" blog. These posts seem to outweight the other (technical) posts by a great number. Maybe you could reduce these posts to a monthly summary of the new "sources of insight" posts?

  2. J.D. Meier says:

    @ Martin

    It’s just a reflection of the cycle at work.  Once my tech projects pick back up, the tide will turn.  A monthly summary is e a good suggestion.

  3. Tyler says:

    I’m with Martin. Another one of these and I’ll drop the feed. Even the linked post lacks content.

  4. J.D. Meier says:

    @ Tyler

    So you know what to expect, the focus is software engineering, project management, and effectiveness.  I carved out the effectiveness piece, to give more focus for my mentees, but some customers still wanted brief coverage here.  When I’m in a heavy project cycle, the posts here will dominantly be about my project.  When I’m in between ship cycles, it will be more about effectiveness or my Microsoft adventures.

  5. Jimmy May says:

    The primary focus of my own blog is SQL Server perf yet it’s also an homage to personal effectiveness.  In these regards, J.D.’s two sites are invaluable to me.  I appreciate the cross-references & especially the amalgamations.  From my perspective, the material is all extremely valuable, & scarcely a post is made which isn’t helpful.

    I would invite you to consider tolerating a post or three which doesn’t resonate in deference to those which do.

    J.D. often echoes the words of Bruce Lee, “Absorb what is useful.  Discard what is not.  Add what is uniquely your own.”  Doing so here may serve us well.

  6. J.D. Meier says:

    @ Jimmy

    Glad to hear the variety helps, and Bruce Lee is a wise one.

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