in reply to
The first cargo cults
Those who want to read the speech the above Feynman quote
is from can find it
It isn't as simple as just saying to experiment.
It is a lot (as Feynman says in the longer speech) about
maintaining a conceptual integrity from which you learn
through experience what to pay attention to, what is
essential, and what is probably not. Programming is a
little different from science in this. In science we have
no good preconceptions available of how things should be.
In programming there is likely to be documentation on how
things were intended to be (they might not have wound up
that way, but that is another story).
But still, without a solid mental model of why we do the
actions that we do, we are likely to repeat actions by rote
which make no sense out of their original context, and we
will miss obvious ways of doing things simply because we
have no way to even understand that they make sense. So
try to understand what you are working with. Don't wave
bamboo because it looks like what you saw. Understand what
you saw and then act according to your best understanding.