While sometimes difficult, I found the practice of “Exposing your Ignorance” to be extremely important in many aspects of life, and naturally it makes sense that it applies to software development the same.
Understanding what is left to be done/improved upon is a core part of development and this rings true for anyone’s apprenticeship. If one cannot see what needs to be improved in their craft, they can subtly become too comfortable with one expertise causing them to never be able to achieve true master craftsman status by holding themselves back due to their complacency.
By asking yourself and figuring out what you are good at and what you are bad at it will allow for the greatest improvement along the apprenticeship journey. Having humility when learning is essential, you may try to fake it until you make it but that will only take you so far before too many errors or issues arise putting your overall proficiency and potentially your position in question. Accepting you are not going to know or understand everything allows for one to learn more efficiently and quicker by choosing to reach out for help when needed rather than forcing themselves to “figure it out”.
I also found it interesting that this practice shines importance on displaying your learning ability to your team. It’s important that if you don’t understand something it’s okay to speak up and let that be known since the team you’re a part of is most likely going to be understanding of your inexperience. One must remember, that their team members had to be in your shoes at one point to get where they are currently.
From my own experience, I learned the hard way that struggling alone is so much harder than just swallowing my pride and asking for help. It seems like obvious advice but generally, I can be stubborn and sometimes I can feel reluctant to ask for help. Sure there can be lots of gratification in solving hard problems on your own, but sometimes it takes way longer than it should to make a seemingly “easy” change. This is because an “easy” or routine task for the team you’re a part of might not be “easy” or routine for a new inexperienced member.
By asking questions I can and have avoided misusing my crucially valuable development time by not being afraid to admit I need help. Struggling alone is always going to be worse than reaching out since there are many more meaningful uses of said time instead of being drained unnecessarily. If you don’t take the steps to become informed and more well rounded then you will continuously bottleneck your development as a craftsman.