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Friday, September 16, 2016

Other People's Stuff

Everyone likes to use their own toothbrush.  We know where it has been, and it fits our hand perfectly.  Someone else's toothbrush is just, well, ick!

The problem with standards is that they often have that "other person's toothbrush" feel to them.  It's not the way I'd do it, or I don't understand why they did X when clearly Y is so much better.  It takes a while sometimes to overcome that icky sensation of putting that thing in our mouth.

Eventually, if we keep at it, it becomes ours, to the point that we might actually find ourself facing the very same challenge trying to convince others to use what has now become "our standard."

It is certainly a true statement that trying to learn something new, or use something different that we are accustomed to is hard.  "I don't have time for this, why can't I just do what I've been doing?" I hear.  In fact, you might actually not have time.  But you may also be missing an opportunity to learn from what others have done.  Only you can decide which is more important.

Standards is all about using other people's stuff.  Few people are in a position to craft standards, many more are in a position to use them.  If, though, after asking yourself the question of "Is this the stuff I need to be worrying about, or is something else more important?"  you come to the conclusion that there is something more important to be worrying about, consider whether using other people's stuff might benefit you, so that you can move on to that more important thing.

It's always easier to understand what you did on your own, rather than to comprehend someone else's work and logic.  But that logic and rationale is present.  If you learn the knack of it, you can do awesome things.

   Keith



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