Reuse Versus Learning

Fred Weinmann argues for the value in learning modules over built-it-yourself solutions for expanding knowledge:

When you start with a new technology, you don’t start on a green field. You’ve got lots of luggage you carry around with you (previous experience) and a perception where you want to go (project conditions, goals). However the technology you interact with may not be limited to just that.
Using, consuming and discovering tools written for a technology by someone who has been busy in that particular field for years can guide you in your own comprehension of the technology.
For example, if you were to shift to Database Administration of MSSQL servers, there is this community module called “dbatools” which covers most of the tools you will need (seriously, we spent lots of time on it to make that true). Now, no module can replace your own mastery of the topic. You will need to know how backup and restore works. How to design a new database and how to troubleshoot inefficient queries.
No tool can save you from needing to understand the concepts and the procedures.
However by looking up the commands, what they do and how they do it, you can benefit from the experience from some seriously senior dbas. For free.
The key point here is that going completely your own path may result in a bad solution, in piled up technological debt which you didn’t see coming because you didn’t have the context yet, because you tried to map new information into your previous context, whether that fit or not.

Click through for the full argument.  I’d go a step further:  these modules are capital.  They are the sum of knowledge built up over time and eschewing this so you can traverse the same ground and try to solve the same problems is a waste of time (unless you can do it better).  Build from what is there and use that precious time you have solving other problems.

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