Stand on the giant’s shoulder

Translated from the article "How to stand on the shoulders of giants" posted on freecodecamp.

"I can look farther than others, because I stand on the shoulders of giants" – Isaac Newton

In 1676, Isaac Newton called great men before his time as "giants." The knowledge they passed down helped him find his own discoveries.

340 years later, the giants were much higher than before. They appear everywhere – not only in books like Newton's. They appear in academic journals. Blurred source projects. And even the dataset opens.

With an internet connection, you can stand on the shoulder of any giant you like.

But most people do not recognize the wide-ranging vision they will get, if they take it hard to climb there. They thought from where they were, the vision was far enough away, what crime had to climb for misery.

Before standing on a giant's shoulders, you have to accept that you can't see everything. You need to realize that these giants will help you see more, and more.


"I am myself because of the ego of all of us." – translated from the "Ubuntu" Zulu

Even in the darkness of prehistoric humans, we have begun to see many interesting things.

Giants began to appear, praised through oral language. Then paper and books appeared.

We record and integrate each knowledge to another. And the giants become even bigger.

Paying for thousands of years, we come up with breakthrough ideas and make lots of good things. Things that change life on this planet.

But we bring these things "blindly." They said, "I know, I will make a miracle from zero."

And they walk on an expensive road, to build a dream from bare land.

We spend a lot of money on software. About 60% of the 2.5 trillion dollars spent on technology every year, is deducted for software development and software consulting services.

Well calculated to a thousand five hundred billion dollars. Enough to acquire 1,500 companies like Instagram every year.

And we do not always accept strange values.

Chartes Cathedral is named after Bernard of the Charter, a scholar living in the 12th century who first sees us "standing on the shoulders of giants". The south window of the scholar's shrine stands on the shoulders of another practitioner. ”

Not Invented Here

Humans are highly self-confident animals. We think we can change the wheel of history, thinking that our version will be better (if not the best).

Who knows, maybe the wheel will be renewed better. But if we were to find something more great – like a car – would we want to spend our whole lives just refreshing the wheel?

Making something of yourself – is the immutable nature of human beings (such as making a baby – a wild instinct).

We fascinate vertical inventions, like Ferrari, Rolex, and iPhone.

We are passionate about the care of every detail.

We are open to the design, construction, and distribution, in harmony with each other in a controlled process.

We also want these wonderful things to come to ourselves.

But just like that, we will collapse into a sweet trap of my brain-wrenching, a trap called "Not Invented Here."

“Not Invented Here Syndrome is the tendency of a group of overly believers in authoritarian knowledge in their field, thereby rejecting new ideas from outside individuals, to the extent of damaging their capacity. its own activities. ”- Ralph Katz and Thomas J. Allen of the MIT Sloan School of Management

The following is a PDF of the most widely known research article of Not Invented Here – first published in 1982 – for those who want to authenticate as well as find out this strange and familiar syndrome.

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However, the article will not tell you that, 34 years later, we still fall into the bias trap in this perception.

The latest example of Not Invented Here is India's Swayam online course platform. Perhaps, they just finished building on the free edX course platform and it's done. There were dozens of other organizations doing it this way, including China's famous XuetangX platform.

But no, Swayam costs $ 6 million to build its own platform. And they spend millions more in the next year to maintain their self-sufficiency solution.

The amount may not sound great, but put this number next to the $ 30 million they add to pay the teacher for the course design. At the same time, if the platform is available, they will debut two years earlier.

Not Invented Here begins with naive thoughts …

“Why should we use WordPress as a blog? Blog is difficult. Or do we just create our own CMS. ”

Then people began to be bold and deeper …

"Why should we use Sugar CRM to track donor? It is difficult to follow donor. Let's just crumble CRM. "

And finally people come to an extremely bold decision:

“What do I use AWS? Cloud is difficult. I will build my own data center and create my own private cloud. ”

If not resolved, this way of thinking can lead to projects such as – project worth $ 90 million, costing taxpayers up to $ 1.7 billion.

I was one of the many people who spent hours waiting for insurance registration, and then failed just because of the silly JavaScript and unrespondsive server error.

In the scandal picture of, three developers in San Francisco decided to take advantage of the available documents. They continue to add some public APIs, from which most features of are generated. And they achieved this result with only a few hundred dollars , in a few short weeks.

The story on my own huge shoulders.

Two years ago, I initiated a small community, so that busy people could learn how to code together.

I wasted 18 months with my own solution: the recommended engine course, which turned out, no one wanted to use.

Therefore, I started to go in the exact opposite direction. I will write as few codes as possible, and only pay attention to taking advantage of other people's code.

So what does the community need?

  1. Methods of communication with each other
  2. Blog for people to share their ideas, knowledge, and life stories
  3. A set of textbooks, and methods for monitoring the progress of everyone in it

My previous Not Invented Here head will:

  1. Create chatrooms with web sockets, then build speed regulators, multiple integrated APIs, and find ways to secure messages across sessions.
  2. Create a completely new blog, handle design problems yourself: readability, tag, embed, and simple features everyone needs, such as RSS.
  3. Create custom CMS for interactive coding challenges, then build profile system, then design and integrate the main programming curriculum .

With this final step, it may take me years to complete it myself.

And before you teach my life that "this time, no one is eating well, he just keeps blogging" – Well, I did this, I wasted a few days without doing anything, a few days of my life will not be recovered.

And here, the new jobs "I", after 18 months of leaving Not Invented Here, decided to do it.

At that time I didn't know any Node.js. But I know people who have convinced me that JavaScript stack is the future.

I also know about Hackathon Starter , an open source boilerplate Node.js. So I fork it now.

Since it took 18 months to scour, review, and classify thousands of online courses, I knew well which course would best support programming and computer science. So instead of designing a new curriculum, I decided to synthesize the available resources.

For chat room, I only use HipChat. And with the blog, I use Blogger.

And in just 3 days, a new community was on the air.

It is difficult to predict how a solution will develop over time, just from starting an idea, you have learned a lot of good things (whether successful or not).

If you start right away with the available solutions, you can change them later, and adjust during development.

Gradually, our community has made thousands of small tweaks based on feedback received. We also moved chat rooms to Gitter, and the community blog went to Medium.

When we have a sufficient number of open source contributions, we continue to design and put into the 1,200-hour curriculum.

Today, more than 5000 people from this community go on their first job with the knowledge learned here.

All of these results would not have been possible, if I could keep my Not Invented Here thought.

How to climb a giant's shoulder?

I will share three simple tips, so that you can also capture thousands of years of knowledge in the palm.

Tip # 1: Learn how to recognize Not Invented Here in yourself and others.

Accept that human instincts are making their own wealth. A positive example is a passionate self-styled interior. On the negative side … is the developer deploying his own security system .

Tip # 2: Know the tools available.

The best way to know which tools you can use is what you're doing now: read about technology.

Most open source projects are located on GitHub, where you can freely view the documantation of each tool. Within minutes , these tools are ready for deploying right on your server.

Tip # 3: Read history.

I'm sure any history teacher has ever quoted this sentence, and it can't be more true:

"Those who do not read history will surely repeat countless mistakes." George Santayana – 1905

There are many good books or books about the history of technology. I recommend the book by Walter Isaacson (he also wrote about the biography of Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs). This book is especially about software industry history: The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

Giants always spread their shoulders to climb up. What are you waiting for. They will show you, there are many problems out there, the problems that are waiting for you to solve.

ITZone via freecodecamp

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