Category Archives: Expose your ignorance

Apprenticeship pattern: Expose your ignorance

I was reading chapter two on “Expose your ignorance” and got so caught up to it. When working with my team this semester, if there is something that I learned is to ask questions and not be afraid to show my “ignorance” like the book calls it. Sharing and exposing myself helped me understand that we should never feel less smarter than others just because they know better than we do, because learning and knowledge is open to everybody and it is not impossible to reach their level or even better, surpass them.

It can always happen to be caught up in the middle of a project that we do not know anything about. Some people might, and some might not. In that situation, we should let our ignorance awaken our curiosity so we can easily ask questions. People in general hate being seen as ignorant because we always want to show that we have knowledge, experience, skills required for the position or project. So, because of that, we find ourselves faking our knowledge and skills just to impress others. But software development does not work like this, it’s either we know or we don.t because the more we try to hide our ignorance, the more we’re sinking ourselves; And there will be a moment when it will be hard to get out of that place we got stuck on our own.

I love what the author said about the runner: ” She’s not training to have strong legs; she’s training to run. Like the motivated developer who after working on a Python for two years achieves a deep knowledge of Python, the marathon runner’s strong leg muscles are a means, not an end”. Craftsmen need to have the courage and humility to set aside their expertise and wear the “white belt” as they pick up an unfamiliar technology or learn a new domain.

One of the most important traits that a craftsman can possess is the ability to learn, identifying an area of ignorance and working to reduce it. As, software developers, we should not run away from knowledge and being shy or scared to expose our ignorance is not doing anything god to us. I am proud of asking questions and showing that I don’t have or I barely do have knowledge about a certain domain. And it is something that I do even with my team. When I am not familiar with something or don’t know how to do it, I just ask and the one that have the answer will provide it to me and help me understand. This is how I increase my knowledge and skills.

This is where “The long road” will take place. By exposing our ignorance, and then confront it. We will spin the missing threads much more quickly than we will by faking it in order to appear competent. And let’s remember that while we are exposing our ignorance, we are also exposing our team to our learning ability.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Gracia's Blog (Computer Science Major) by gkitenge and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.

Individual Apprenticeship Patterns: Expose your Ignorance

Reading the chapter “Expose your Ignorance”, there were mainly four words that stood out to me: Ignorance, Pretending and Learning ability. This chapter is telling us how important it is in the professional field to embrace our ignorance which is our vulnerability and transform it into our strength by embracing the learning process.

I have been going to school since I was two years old. Even though school is meant to be a place where we all must learn and support each other, exposing our ignorance is not quite something that makes us comfortable. We feel behind everyone and sometimes, asking questions can give a sense of “nonbelonging “or “not having the appropriate level yet” for the class and it is frustrating. This frustration gets worse in the professional world where we are expected to know a lot of things and sometimes, don’t. We are driven to believe that the knowledge of everything is what allows us to keep a job or impress the employers or recruiters.

The other word that stood out to me is “Pretending”. This is actually very interesting because pretending is a temporary mask that sooner or later ends up falling and revealing your true face. However, I wonder if “pretending” can be used by someone to gain time for example, to boost someone’s confidence level and allow the person to learn/ improve while not necessarily exposing his/her ignorance and be uncomfortable.

The third thing that stood out to me was “Learning ability”. I believe that we are never done learning no matter what stage we are in life. Leaning is what keep us going and growing, learning demonstrates a sense of modesty. We put aside what we know, and we learn something new to add to what we knew already. The world is everlastingly growing. New technologies, new improvements, developments happen every day and that should always motivate us to seek more, to want to feed our intellect more on any subject.

In conclusion, I definitely gained confidence about trusting the learning process and not being afraid to expose my ignorance. I personally never worked in my field yet and I anticipate it to be a challenge to get hired in a tech company and meet all the specifications as a freshly graduate. I am planning to be honest with myself and with my team, managers, and clients. That way I am confident to deliver quality and not under deliver because I didn’t have the courage to be myself and allow myself to grow in the process.

From the blog CS@Worcester – Software Intellect by rkitenge91 and used with permission of the author. All other rights reserved by the author.