Being Reflective on Programming and Civic Hacking

June 29, 2016

One of the lessons that I am learning from the other fellows at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society is that in addition to spending time learning it is also important to be reflective. People like Nathan Matias and Jason Griffey do a great job of documenting their work on their blogs. I like the style they both use and I will endeavor to emulate it, but also sprinkle in my own personality.

Why is it important to be reflective? I think that in the academic world we spend a lot of time ingesting lots of information and it is easy to let that information pass us by without synthesizing and internalizing it. Second I believe that many people are probably tackling problems similar to the ones that I am tackling and by putting out what I learn and think, I might be able to help them or they might be able to help me.

Finally I think a blog is a better place to put reflective writing than Facebook because Facebook posts are not easily searched. If I wonder what I thought the solution is to a particular problem a year ago, I am less likely to be able to find it in Facebook than in my blog. Also by being searchable in Google other people who are interested in the same subjects as me will be able to find these posts and comment on them.

Given that most of my independent work over the past year has involved improving my software development skills and leading and mentoring new developers at Code for Boston’s Hack Nights, many of my future posts are going to focus on the lessons I have learned while leading the development of EnerSave, and working on the Lumen Database.

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