Downhill skiiing on the learning curve
I find myself writing “The underlying idea is that the platform pushes you up the learning curve in an optimal direction” and this seems to warrant more explanation.
On a large platform such as OpenStack, it is not so much a learning curve as a fractal landscape for exploration. There are some sensible and well-documented routes where most people will travel. You have a starting point, and hopefully a “You Are Here” indicator. You have a destination, or hopefully at least an idea of your initial direction.
Traditional approaches to documentation include
- describing the Golden Path
- answering Frequently Asked Questions or showing solutions to recurring problems
- answering imagined or expected questions that putative users might raise later
- training courses
- tip of the day
The learning curve is often presented as a monotonic ascending curve, often with increasing gradient, like
y = x*x but who says it has to be a one-dimensional uphill struggle?
I find the learning landscape is more fun, and I make better progress across it, when
- I’m wearing skis of a suitable length to prevent falling down fractal rabbit holes
- there is a convenient ski lift to take me up somewhere interesting
- it’s downhill all the way