Practice Makes Genius

Genius, the Modern View is the title of a David Brook’s New York times column.

To briefly summarize, the traditional perspective on genius is that on rare occasions very special people are born that because of their genetic disposition naturally behave in qualitatively superior ways. The modern perspective is that the difference between geniuses and “normal” people is that geniuses practice a lot more. In other words, just about anyone can perform as a brilliant musician, after they practice for 10,000 hours. Similarly, you can be a great writer, painter, even a mathematician as long as you put in the focused time.

If this perspective is true the key difference between “geniuses” and others is motivation not innate ability.

This perspective is core to our agile values. Excellence in software development is available to anyone who is willing to practice; not just those pre-ordained to be great programmers. We produce excellent software teams by valuing learning that develops from practice. We expect to get better and better over time. We strive to produce a supportive learning environment within the team that maximizes the positive effect of practice. Most importantly we focus on increasing the team’s motivation to do better through practice.

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