In praise of patterns

I was just listening to this Software Engineering radio podcast with Linda Rising … and was reminded of the usefulness and wonder of patterns.

http://www.se-radio.net/2009/06/episode-139-fearless-change-with-linda-rising/

The book, Fearless Change book is also inspiring. It is nice to also hear an author in conversation about their learnings and path to writing the book.

The conversation looped back to Christopher Alexander’s Timeless way of building ,  which Markus referred to as the “prior art” of patterns!   Timeless way of building is a book I studied end to end when it came time to remodel our house! Great book, great patterns.  The famous “light on two sides” inspired me to ask for sunlights in several rooms! Makes a huge difference in the rooms.  And lots of material in the book about community building, gardens as spaces and much more. Very rich book. And it is about much more than building! The book itself – is timeless…

In the interview about Linda Rising also referred to Alexander’s definition of a pattern – which I am quoting from his website http://www.patternlanguage.com Each pattern describes a problem which occurs over and over again in our environment, and then describes the core of the solution to that problem, in such a way that you can use this solution a million times over, without ever doing it the same way twice.

Thinking of Agile Scrum this reminded me of user stories. I wonder if a pattern is similar in that it is a what and a why…but not a how…

Lots of time in life it is valuable for us to think about what and why…and leave the how ‘til another time, another place, or leave it as a future that is open and waiting.

 

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