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Re: Leaving the "Know-it-all" Paradigm towards a Programmers Mindset

by Mutant (Priest)
on Nov 08, 2005 at 10:24 UTC ( #506680=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Leaving the "Know-it-all" Paradigm towards a Programmers Mindset

It's very easy to be an above-average technical person (of which there are millions in the world), and exist in an environment where you do know it all. This can even be a relatively large company of non-technical people. To them, you become some sort of tech god, and no one is able to challenge you. Entering any sort of discussion/argument, you always know the outcome - you are right. This is not narcissism, it's objective - you always are right.

By far the best thing a young techie can do is find employment in a company where they are often wrong. I was fortunate enough to have this early on in my (so far brief) career. After working jobs where I was always the go-to guy, and having similar experiences during my degree where I wasn't particularly challenged, I found a job where I was wrong a good 50% of the time. Sometimes spectacularly wrong.

It was a very quick lesson in how little I knew. Had I found a job where I was - again - always right, I doubt my technical abilities (especially programming knowledge) would have grown significantly at all.

Knowing what you don't know, and even just that you don't know everything, is an extrememly important step along the road to mastery.
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