I’ve been listening to The REPL podcast episode with Eric Normand (link). Daniel asked Eric about his new course on the REPL-driven development. Eric mentioned that there’s little to no explicit guidance towards using REPL in every day work. As I understand, people somehow learn it because of curiosity. Everybody talks about REPL all the time, so there might be some fear of missing out that’s involved.
What helped me to use REPL more at work is watching my colleagues using it. Instead of theorizing about an outcome of an operation, or reading docs, they would always try running it in the REPL. I watched them work. I saw how productive their workflow was, and so it became clear to me why REPL is useful.
When I saw others being excited about REPL for the first time, I didn’t get it at all. “So what? It’s just another tool.” They often say that it’s impossible to explain why it changes everything. But when the point of understanding is reached, there’s no turning back. And then you wonder how you worked before and why others are not as excited as you are.