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Critique Culture and Where I Failed

So, I’ve been thinking a lot of process, especially about how critique fits into process both in academia and in the workplace. In academia we are constantly pushed to have our work critiqued, which is absolutely fantastic. However, what I failed to realized, despite all my preaching about getting feedback and critique as often as possible, is that in academia critique comes to you. Often times it simply wasn’t necessary to go out and explicitly ask for critique for someone. Someone was constantly around, and usually looking over your shoulder. They would just walk up and say what they thought. This is absolutely fantastic, but it’s unlike the real world which I’ve experience here at Mozilla. While we work strongly in teams, we often perform a lot of work on our own. This work happens at our own desk on our own computers. While working at our desk, everyone at the same time, it’s very unlikely that someone is just going to come up and start talking about what you are working on at that very moment. Sure people come by your desk and talk, and once in a while it’s relevant to the stuff you were working on that particular moment. But often, it’s not. This means that the work you are performing right now is being looked at by you, and likely only you. Despite our somewhat deepest fears, our colleagues are not looking over our shoulders. No one is peeping at our computers secretly judging us and see how many times we log into twitter and facebook. It’s just not happening for the majority of us, especially in our field.

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