Happy New Year

Well, it’s time for me to think about what I will do differently this year. And one thing that I keep thinking I’ll do better at every year is blogging. This year I’m going to try again. We’ll see if this year will be different from the past. Given history, I’m not super confident but I have a strong feeling that 2014 will be a year of change for me so maybe…

This morning, I was driving my wife to work and on the way home I heard a story about the Stanford football training program and how it was different than most other programs. The story referred to an article in the New York Times about it. I read that article and another one from The Bleacher Report and really resonated with the ideas of the program. It reminded me of Moneyball in that these folks are not just taking the standard definitions of what a great football player looks like but rather are thinking about what really makes a football player effective and basing their training on that.

Another point that comes out of the articles is that there are different training programs for players who play different positions. This brought to mind the old generalist vs. specialist arguments that are prevalent in the software development world. The new idea that came to mind in this area is that to be the most effective at anything you have to be a specialist. But, in addition to that, you can train to be effective in your speciality. Maybe this is what people mean when they talk about specializing generalists. If so, then I would be on board with that idea. I would also add that the most effective people I’ve seen have been those that can adapt and become specialists in new areas as the world and needs change.

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