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.