Being a beginner have very few perks so we must utilize them to their utmost extent. The authors make the point of arguing that the new guy has the ability to bring new life into a team that could perhaps have gone stale or that maybe could be improved by such addition. I must confess this learning pattern, or I would better describe it by calling it a resilience building pattern, is a pattern that can help with confidence building and narrowing the aim for purpose. When working with a team in an environment that is new, you don’t only confront with your team’s expectations of what you can do, but also with your own expectations on what you think you should be able to contribute. This ties well with something I think every student struggles with and may carry over to the professional struggles of transition called impostor syndrome.
I have read about impostor syndrome before repeatedly in quorums in which professional developers as well as other professionals talk about it or answer questions about it. I should say that the mere volume in which these topics appear in the wild is a telltale of what should be expected in the first few years of a developer. As a student we easily fall trapped by the illusion of being undeserving, when we grapple with the idea that we have much to learn still. Sometimes it is true that we are unprepared to complete a task or that some of the background knowledge needed for the task was under evaluated in the past and have become a barrier to present issues. But even on the eve of such failures we must not succumb to the temptation of self-assigning ourselves with the impostor role. The imposter would not put in the years of instruction and struggle to become the product of these experiences.
There are little cautionary tales in this pattern as well. This is something I think the authors were very smart to add. In the wild dealing with real world social interaction there can be no one fits all solution. Feeling out group dynamics while applying these tactics is very important. We all have the tendency to grow a little cynical over time so we shouldn’t be judging too harshly an individual or group’s receptivity. If we use just the right mix of the appropriate beginner enthusiasm, we can feel like we belong, or even better, like we have something to add.