Curious learnings in martial arts principles, to help make you a better software developer

Curious learnings in martial arts principles, to help make you a better software developer

In my spare time I study a martial art. Here is an attempt to apply some of the important principles of the art to software development.

Use minimum effort (efficiency)

  • Why avoid a strike by a meter, a foot, a few inches if an inch is just enough.
  • Why write 10 lines of code if you can do it in two, or better still if someone has already written it for you.

Be receptive/flexible (flexibility)

  • Don’t try and shoe horn a predetermined technique against an unknown attack, use the defence that your opponent “gives” you, exploiting their mistakes, weakness or momentum. One technique will not work for all opponents.
  • Similarly, “shoe horning” a problem into an existing solution might be a problem if the solution was not designed for it. Review the tools you are using, are they the right tools? Are there better tools?

Don’t attack speculatively (design)

  • Going straight for the knock out blow is not good if it misses and you have thrown away balance, energy and position for it. Set up your opponent with small attacks first so that he is the one off balance.
  • Jumping straight into writing code without thinking through or designing the solution properly can also be a problem if something has been overlooked or requirements change.

Keep it simple

  • Keep movement and posture as natural and as relaxed as possible, this helps us be more flexible and more efficient.
  • This is also very important in software development, simpler code/solutions are easier to understand and modify later.
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