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The Clock is Ticking December 15, 2007

Posted by ActiveEngine Sensei in ActiveEngine, Coaching, Design Patterns, Mythology, Personal Development, Problem Solving.
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The forth coming documentary movie Two Million Minutes discusses the changing demographics of our global economy:

Meanwhile, both India and China have made dramatic leaps in educating their middle classes – each comparable in size to the entire U.S. population. Compared to the U.S., China now produces eight times more scientists and engineers, while India puts out up to three times as many as the U.S. Additionally, given the affordability of their wages, China and India are now preferred destinations for increasing numbers of multinational high-tech corporations.

The premise of the documentary is that from 8th grade to high school graduation, student has 2 million minutes to prepare to enter the work force, be productive, fight the good fight to win the prize, bring home the bacon and contribute to society.

How do we as developers, architects, project managers spend our time? Some may contend that expansion of knowledge is the best route, that continual acquisition of skill is the key to remaining on top. The way of Bushido is to constantly refine through the repetition of basics. The life of Josh Waitzkin supports the latter theory, as neural pathways of the grand masters are created through analysis and repetition. Can this be done in 1 million minutes? What ways are we learning? What are the essential components to good design, and are they emphasized enough?

Design patterns come to mind as a kata, or set of instructions that when practiced to a high degree lead to increased performance. Design patterns describe quickly how a problem has been solved, and set expectations as to what is in store for you when you open up the code and read what has been done. When done correctly, design patterns will gain back some of those precious minutes.

But back to China and India. Are we, the software and architect community, too cloistered in our blogs and Alt.Net enclaves to contribute to the reduction of the 2 million minutes? Are we even a part of that 2 million minutes? Think about it.

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