The breakable toy pattern is something I practice often without realizing it was considered a pattern for good learning practice. I must say at times I find it to be a double edge sword. Sometimes I look for things beyond my abilities and end up stuck, depressed, and put it in the back burner, but I end up unpacking them later [because I’m stubborn] sometimes over multiple iterations and when I finally get them working the achievement felt is increased in the same order. I think this pattern probably pairs well with other patterns such as confront your own ignorance maybe I’ll write about this one next. Anyway, I want to talk about how he describes the pattern in his own way.
The author makes a good point in the first few paragraphs that the point of a breakable toy was to be able to work on things you don’t usually work on. This description enforces that this pattern helps you learn without side effects on the systems you work on that are not toys. I believe that he makes this distinction to allow for a daring approach, one that would allow you to try something just to see what happens. This allows for a much deeper understanding of any problem. It is like testing to find boundaries, critical systems may not allow such playful adventures but even these critical systems had to be prototyped at some point and someone stress tested the system so you could have a safe playpen.
I know stress testing is an idea that could be consider a little alien to the breakable toy pattern, but I believe it is part of it. When building these breakable toys, we use tools and frame works that we sometimes stress to the end of their abilities. Then we find better tools and frameworks or learn to better use and manage the ones we have.
To conclude the breakable toy pattern allows for growth not only skill-wise but also mentally when we exercise self-control. It allows us to practice focus and confront anxiety. To build the skill set of building skill sets.