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Indeed “All models are wrong; some may be useful” but what is the Dreyfus model supposed to be a model of? It's hard to believe that it even is a model of skills acquisition, since they made no meaningful study of skill acquisition. It might be a model of the Dreyfus' prejudices about how they think skills should be acquired, particularly the phenomenological stance that it isn't possible (even in principle) to look inside expert behavior and see how it works. Hubert Dreyfus, for reasons of his own, wants expert behavior to be, loosely speaking, mysterious and magical. I hope that GROWS isn't going to take the view that expert practice is software development is an un-analyzable, magical process where the expert “just knows” without thought or reflection what to do, and without the ability to explain it—which is what Dreyfus & Dreyfus claimed expert behavior is.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2015 on The Failure of Agile at /\ndy
I suggest that before building a large structure on the foundation of the Dreyfus Model of Skill Aquisition you should go read Drefus & Dreyfus' original report. The “model” was invented out of thin air: they read a book about jazz piano, and a PhD thesis about chess and then they had a think. That's all. The model has no empirical content. The philosophical Dreyfus brother considers it a great strength of the model that it is unpolluted by data—I'm not even joking. Before a certain subset of the IT industry latched on to the model it was thoroughly exercised by the nursing profession, in the 80's. Their conclusion was that it doesn't really help much.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2015 on The Failure of Agile at /\ndy
I'm reminded of a conversation I had with Simon Peyton Jones some years ago about the lack (then) of good development environments for Haskell. "Just use EMACS" he semi-joked. But, I replied, the days are long gone when practitioners think about programs as large complicated bodies of text for which the premier tool is clearly a large complicated text editor. I'm remained also of a more recent conversation with Nat Pryce where we discussed the odd fact that OO programmers believe in computation by sending messages to objects and (in the few OO languages we have: Smalltalk and a couple of others) also do programming by sending messages to objects. Whereas functional programmers believe in computation by evaluating expressions in environments but do programming by making destructive updates to character arrays. Looking at line-by-line diffs seems like a notion very much from the programs-are-text world. We should have grown out of that by now.
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2012 on The Tyranny of the Diff at Michael Feathers
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Apr 10, 2012