Thanks to Tom Simon for the link to this talk How to shutdown Tolkien, an interesting video worth the watch. It was given at a Python developer conference but it is still interesting even if you aren’t a software engineer (well I think so, I am one so maybe I can’t tell).
While Tolkien had friends who could devise ingenious ways to critique his work without sounding critical, he had others whose remarks were merciless and direct — to the point that Tolkien simply stopped sharing new chapters as he wrote The Lord of the Rings. As programmers we share many of the struggles of writers and artists, and we often react just as badly to critique of our code. From Tolkien’s experience we will draw lessons about how to make critique generous instead of damaging, and actionable instead of personal.
More Mr Simon