384497 (1) [Avatar] Offline
#1
I really like the topic of chapter 6. Below were a few comments of about the content

1. Figure 6.1 has a caption of "Learning rate" but the y-axis of the plot is labeled "Productivity". This is confusing. Is the implication that productivity is equal to the change per unit time of learning? Probably not. Learning is arguable a rate itself, defined as new information per unit time. I think the missing term here is "skill" which is some function of learning. And, productivity is a function of skill. Increasing productivity requirers positive change in skill which requires new information. Ravines are when information is increasing but skill is decreasing; which leads to the temporary dip in productivity. This ravine is the information consolidation period where by skill (and thus productivity) is dominated by Retroactive interference.

2. Figure 6.2 has caption of "Learning rate zoomed in" but there are still 4 points on the plot. The x-axis is only implicitly defined as "time" so its not clear that the x-axis has changed at all from figure 6.1 to 6.2. Furthermore, I think the point being attempted here is that there is that Productivity as a function of time can be some complicated process with underlying linear behavior. When under sampled (i.e. only 4 points at the right times) only the gross linear feature is apparent. But just to be clear, there are infinitely many plausible curves that could be drawn on those 4 points. Again, it is not clear that "zooming" has anything to do with figure 6.2 -- the point is that what's happening between the points can be "complicated" like cumulative step function or whatever.

3. A general remark about figures 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, the figures images from a physical source and the residual text (i.e. on the other side of the page) is clearly visible in the MEAP pdf. Hopefully, these get cleaned up for final cut. I could remake them and post them online if that were helpful ...

4. To be honest, I was a bit confused by section 6.1.1. I appreciate the candidness and personal nature of the story but I am not convinced that the baby ravine contributes much to the chapter. Could possibly save time and energy by just saying "As in life, things get better before they get worse. There will usually be periods of negative productivity when learning new skills as the brain reorganizes all that new information with your entrenched thought patterns."

5. Very much liked section 6.2.2. Apologies in advance if this is a typo comment. I felt that the lines "Everyone was using Git source control. I had heard of it, but never used it in anger." were strange. Using GIT in anger?

At any rate, I really enjoy the manuscript. Great work. Very much looking forward to additional chapters.
RoyOsherove (82) [Avatar] Offline
#2
Thanks for the detailed message. I'll reply to some of this inline:

1. Figure 6.1 has a caption of "Learning rate" but the y-axis of the plot is labeled "Productivity".
-- I agree it might be a bit confusing. "Productivity" was in the original graph taken from Jerald Weinberg's book. Learning rate meant to suggest that during ravins productivity is lower because the learning rate is actually higher (you digest the most information, slowly)

2. Figure 6.2 has caption of "Learning rate zoomed in" but there are still 4 points on the plot.
--- yes. I agree maybe not a good wording. Under-plotted vs "more specifically plotted" might be a better way to say it. Shows you how much I love graphs and plots smilie

4. To be honest, I was a bit confused by section 6.1.1. I
---- That ravines story is something that I emotionally connect to as a hook to remind myself and others that sometimes that very vulnerable feeling that you feel and viscerally remember, is the thing that you'll feel at work, and to remember that , and that it's not the end of the world. saying this in a more dry fashion negates (for me) the strength of the feelings we might feel at work as we try new leadership techniques. The personal story that brings up that memory of how hard it was (for many readers with kids) will hopefully help them to be prepared for that kind of mentally and to be able to recognize it when it happens at work.

5. Very much liked section 6.2.2. Apologies in advance if this is a typo comment. I felt that the lines "Everyone was using Git source control. I had heard of it, but never used it in anger." were strange. Using GIT in anger?
-- To "use something in anger" is a phrase, meaning to use something "for real" - in production, etc. rather than just to try it out.


At any rate, I really enjoy the manuscript. Great work. Very much looking forward to additional chapters.
-- thanks!