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There are a lot of things that software engineers have to be good at. One of the most central, however, is being aware of their thinking. This awareness, which psychologists call self-regulation, is at the heart of almost everything a software engineer does:
More than just awareness, however, good self-regulation involves actively controlling your thinking, monitoring your thinking and intervening when you believe it's not effective.
How are you supposed to learn these skills? The central way is to practice being aware. In a study from Amy Ko's lab, they found that simply prompting developers to reflect regularly promoted greater self-regulation skills, which translated into higher productivity.
For today, you're going to work alone.
Every time I prompt you, turn to your neighbor and answer the following questions:
You work, I'll prompt.
Discuss in groups of four:
After discussing in groups, we'll discuss as a class.