Drawing from the Deep

Eric and I interviewed Joshua using the 3x3 Reflection. Another experiment.

We wanted to understand if this disciplined approach to gleaning not only insights, but the meaning behind those insights, might illuminate aspects of coding as a creative craft. Not only for Joshua, but also, perhaps, for others.

We wanted to jump Into the Vortex to see what we might find there.

Ward suggested this experiment as Joshua had just recently emerged from a complex challenge deep in the bowels of FedWiki. Ward felt that there was something worthy of learning from Joshua's journey.

the challenge

With the introduction of a feature that allows pages to be moved in the wiki, a critical complexity was introduced with how the pages related to each other for data analysis and display.

As the data interaction of pages was based on relative position, the program needed to be able to quickly know these page relationships in what was now a dynamic state.

This challenge turned out to be a very tricky problem as the program had previously assumed page relationships were static, assumptions that had implications hidden deep within the codebase.

the insights

After Joshua shared the struggle with solving this problem, we asked him for three key insights from this journey that had interrupted the tempo of his development. He identified three: * He was surprised how important his previous **experience** was with the code base for knowing how to address this challenge * He had a deeper understanding of the importance of **sequencing** when solving this problem * He saw how important it was to challenge his **assumptions** when he went about solving this problem.

meaning mining

The key to the 3x3 Reflection is to explore the meaning, in progressively deeper levels, for each of the insights. We go through each insight asking "why" three times, looking to open each door of discovery through feelings that have been expressed.

Each time we would ask these follow-up questions, it almost felt that Joshua was being hit by a wave and his eyes would drift up to ceiling as he sought to find words that might explain the feeling. Once he had regrouped, his eyes would come back to the screen and he would share another part of this tale.

Here is what we learned: