"[Flow is] being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you're using your skills to the utmost."

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

I first read about the concept of Flow when researching the psychology behind the pomodoro technique, when I started using it at the beginning of April. Quite by chance Keavy put this slide up at the Scottish Ruby Conference just afterwards:

Challenge vs Skill

This diagram fascinates me. Perhaps this teaches us that the reason experts enjoy Katas is that they’re a form of relaxation, whereas perhaps they instil a sense of apathy in beginners.

We have to encourage our apprentices to push through apathy, and even boredom, by gradually increasing the challenge level. As their skill level increases, the challenge level drops, so the same tasks become relaxing.

Once that’s the case, they should be ready for the highly challenging real world application of those concepts.

What do you think? What else can we glean from this diagram?