My sifu would tell us that he loved to teach the Beginner classes. He believed the most important sash to earn was the first one, and that the introduction and initial classes were paramount to the success of each student. He trained his assistants relentlessly so they would not only teach true technique, but also that they be friendly and high-energy and helpful. The result was an excellent culture of encouragement and trust in each other.

I recently started a new job with a new company, and while sifting through onboarding documents I found this sentence in a preamble: "And, if you are a new (company name) developer: welcome aboard!"

So simple. At first I barely noticed it as I skimmed, but my eyes caught on it and now I'm thinking about it. When I was in high school, I surrounded myself with tutorials and documentation that not only provided the important information but was friendly. Because of my inexperience, I needed to be told it was okay to not get it, to be slow, for things to be confusing. That by completing a tutorial I had somehow achieved something, that my effort had value.

I think about this developer and a small decision, years ago, to be friendly to someone they didn't even know. What that says about their nature and the culture they wanted.