Saturday, September 13, 2014

MakerSquare Day 13: Rising tide of teamwork lifts all boats, tables (3/5)

I mentioned the lesson in ping pong I got a couple days ago (both: I got it and I mentioned it a few days ago). But I never told you the revelatory bit of info from that lesson: don't slap the ball, don't even hit the ball--push it.

Which I only mention because it might be useful to you.

You're probably asking, "Why would you want to help me?" I'm glad you asked me that, mysterious stranger, because it gives me a chance to go on and on and on about how I believe humans are naturally both competitive and altruistic, both individualistic and community-minded.

Actually, let's just pretend I went on and on about that topic. If you went through an Ayn Randian phase as a teen (when it's most appropriate), then you might know her idea about the virtue of selfishness: you help everyone by helping yourself. I mostly believe in the reverse: you help yourself by helping other people.

So, for instance, I'll tell you how to play ping pong better and maybe you'll beat me. Or maybe you'll be such tough competition that I'll become a better player by playing against you.

Or, to take an example from this morning, maybe you'll help me extend the legs on this adjustable table--and now we have a standing table in the classroom. Which means that all of us have a chance to get off our keisters sometime during the day. (The keister is where programmers are most vulnerable to work-related injuries.)

Result: everyone's happier and physically more comfortable. Result: All our code is better. Result: Everything is awesome.

Also, in a few weeks we'll be split into teams to complete some bigger project, which is very exciting and interesting to me since we're a huge resource for each other.

As was proved both when we made a standing desk this morning and when we worked on Javascript this afternoon.

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