Why it’s better to strive toward accomplishment rather than method

This line of thought came from Automated Black Box Testing.

I describe how it is automated testing is a powerful concept in software development. I argue that it is better to test what something does rather than how it does something.

I think this is just as applicable to life. We often get caught up with the methods of doing things. The practice of living life is an ongoing discovery process. We learn from ourselves and others.

This continuous discovery also means that nobody has a monopoly on “the right way” to do something. The right way comes in many forms and can only be judged by the global results of the method. Global results in the sense of the act accomplished what was intended with minimal negative (or positive) side effects.

Since there is no monopoly on “the right way”, we should be hesitant to lock down a method or accomplishing something. The method is a guide of how people succeeded, or failed, in the past, but not necessarily a prescription. Everybody is different and the desire to grow and come up with their preferred approach to do the greatest good should be encouraged.

Let’s take a look at standardized education. The premise is we prescribe how people should learn. The standardized educational system creates a roadmap of concepts the students must learn to become educated.

Good teachers tend to be intelligent individuals who want to foster the student’s internal motivation to learn. The teachers help students evolve and utilize their strengths and preferences to learn. Unfortunately, a rigid curriculum limits the path of evolution of the student. If the student does not take to the curriculum, the student’s potential is wasted on coercion.

Fortunately, as the internet of ideas illuminates the many paths to achieving a goal and action, we have an opportunity to become more tolerant to people’s differences and more willing to unleash unprecedented potential in everybody.

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