Hi! I'm Nathan Hoad


Sharpening the saw

Jeff Atwood has another Insightful post over at Coding Horror. His article talks about some peoples' tendency to prefer suffering through tedius but familiar processes than to take a timeout to learn something better. I feel like I have heard this story a million times but nothing analogises the concept better than 'Sharpening the Saw':

There's a guy who stumbled into a lumberjack in the mountains. The man stops to observe the lumberjack, watching him feverishly sawing at this very large tree. He noticed that the lumberjack was working up a sweat, sawing and sawing, yet going nowhere. The bystander noticed that the saw the lumberjack was using was about as sharp as a butter knife. So, he says to the lumberjack, "Excuse me Mr. Lumberjack, but I couldn't help noticing how hard you are working on that tree, but going nowhere." The lumberjack replies with sweat dripping off of his brow, "Yes... I know. This tree seems to be giving me some trouble." The bystander replies and says, "But Mr. Lumberjack, your saw is so dull that it couldn't possibly cut through anything." "I know", says the lumberjack, "but I am too busy sawing to take time to sharpen my saw."

One of the simplest ways of 'sharpening your saw' is to read blogs (which you must be doing right now if you are reading this bit in brackets) and talking to people. There is always a better way to do anything, and talking to people and asking questions is the best way to learn.

If I just made your day a little better then thank me with a coffee or maybe a a pizza