A lot of people don’t understand the concept of “acquired tastes”. I’ve heard people say things like, “If you have to work to learn to like it, why bother?” The answer, of course, is that acquired tastes are often some of the most pleasurable experiences around. Take, for example, Vegemite. (OK, that might not be your favorite example of an acquired taste. But you know what I mean.)
I got started thinking about acquired tastes this morning when I read what Darach Ennis had to say about test-first design/test-driven development (via Brian Marick):
Sometimes it’s better just to roll up one’s sleeves and give it a shot.
That’s how I started out with TFD/TDD. One day I just decided to give it a shot. It took a few weeks before TFD/TDD clicked. It took another few months before I started to become proficient.
Food and drink aren’t the only things that can only be enjoyed after a concerted effort. Habits of mind are just like habits of the palate—our impulse is to continue to enjoy the comfortable and familiar, but growth happens when we challenge ourselves to try something different.