I Just Want to Cut

When we pulled into the garage the other day after running some errands, my 6 year old piped up, “Dad, when we get in can I use scissors?”

“To do what?”

“I just want to cut.”

For an adult, scissors are a tool to make something else happen. For a 6 year old, scissors are an end in themselves. Whatever he does with them, it’s enough that he’s using scissors.

I just finished reading Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, which talks about the Curse of Knowledge, the idea that “once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what is was like not to know it.” The Curse of Knowledge means that the way I use certain tools or practices (say, TDD or continuous integration) is now so familiar to me that I can sound like my son when I’m coaching a new team.

I need to remember what it was like to see these things for the first time and what it was that initially won me over because it’s different from what matters to me now.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Richard Lawrence

Is co-owner of Agile For All. He trains and coaches people to collaborate more effectively with other people to solve complex, meaningful problems. He draws on a diverse background in software development, engineering, anthropology, and political science. Richard is a Scrum Alliance Certified Enterprise Coach and Certified Scrum Trainer, as well as a certified trainer of the accelerated learning method, Training from the Back of the Room. His book, Behavior-Driven Development with Cucumber, was published by Addison-Wesley in 2019 (for more information, visit bddwithcucumber.com).


richard.lawrence@agileforall.com Twitter LinkedIn Subscribe to RSS Feed Blog posts by this author