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Ungathered Thoughts

Working out loud?

I was introduced to the book Working Out Loud at an open source conference in Denver 2016, when Matt Thompson keynoted. The ideas behind Working Out Loud seemed so familiar and he expressed them so well.

Working Out Loud's blurb makes it sound like it's a career development book but to me it's more about us all being better together. If you're reading this (hosted as it is internally to Catalyst), I can assume you're familiar with open source.

So - what's Working Loud, this blog, for me? It's a process of encouraging myself to share my learning and my work by trying to be open by default. If I'm discovering how to implement something, I'll try to share my journey somehow. This might be a write-up of a technique, or some thoughts about how I might do better in future.

Working Open (as a philosophy, as opposed to this blog) is the idea that we learn more when we share more, and that there's rarely a good reason to make things hard to discover. I learned so much from open source and am grateful for it; it seems odd to not share what I've freely been given by this community of people working together. (Sure, I've had to work to learn too, but that's not a reason to not pass the learning on.)

Working Open has side effects, such as being more able to pick up from where I left off in six months (treating my future self as a team member), and reducing the effort to share process when I find I need to. It's refreshing and rewarding to answer a question with "oh, I wrote that up, here you go" and give someone all the details they need; it feels like a win.

Working Open also reduces siloing and improves bus factoring (I forget which direction the bus factor is supposed to go, but if I've kept notes, I've moved it the right way).

That's what this is all about.