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The UML Learning Path

No, I'm not going to name any of the devs who inspired this post. They wouldn't know who I am, anyway.

But it takes an extremely high degree of arrogance to go from "I don't see a way to use this" to "This has no value, no matter who says they're getting value out of it. So I'll dismiss it, and I'll mock them" Either arrogance, or more likely, insecurity: "I don't understand this; so since those people think it's important, either they understand something I don't, or they're fools. I'll mock them, so everyone thinks they're fools. That will make me look smart."

And that insecurity manifests in a lot of places on a lot of topics, not just UML: Agile Development, Orchestrated Development, CMMI, Test Driven Development, C#, Java, Ruby, linux, .NET... Any time you move from "I don't see it" to "It's worthless", look around: if other developers are putting those tools to productive use, then it's not worthless. It just doesn't help you. So do you call it worthless, and imply they're fools? Or do you openly mock them, demonstrating that you're a fool?

Or do you follow the only exit path in this diagram? There is only one, after all. Once you get UML, you've gotten it for good. You may not use it all the time, but you'll understand when and why you should use it. But the only exit path is the middle: you recognize that UML (or Agile, or Orchestrated, or...) is having some value on some projects, so it's not worthless; but you just can't see the value. You remain open-minded.


Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 8:41 PM It's all about communication. , UML , Development Processes | Back to top

Comments on this post: The UML Learning Path

# re: The UML Learning Path
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As somebody who had to take several trips through the "Don't Get It -> Learn More" loop. I really identify with the center column of the diagram.
Left by Editor Bill on Dec 11, 2008 8:55 AM

# re: The UML Learning Path
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I believe that there is a distinction that should be made between "it's useless" and "it's curently useless for my situations." I find fairly often that I learn more about something and find that it won't fit in our development.

The former statements mostly apply to new languages or features. Not as much to UML. Also there's always the chance that the case may change, and that upon evaluation the once useless may become not so useless for our situations.

Let me know if you disagree. I'm interested in your thoughts.
Left by Stacy Vicknair on Dec 12, 2008 11:13 AM

# re: The UML Learning Path
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I suppose the Open Minded outcome is what correllates to my earlier comments. The levels of abstraction are just different ;)
Left by Stacy Vicknair on Dec 12, 2008 11:16 AM

# re: The UML Learning Path
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Exactly! You're open-minded. "Useless for me" is always a possibility. Linux admin tools are 100% useless for me.

When people jump from there to "Useless, period, even if other people CLAIM to find it useful", they've closed their minds. I don't need Linux admin tools, but I can find tens of thousands of people who do.

And when they go from there to mockery, they've welded their minds shut. Wilfully chosen ignorance is the worst kind.
Left by Martin L. Shoemaker on Dec 12, 2008 12:34 PM

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