Thursday, February 19, 2009

Definition of an expert

Post on Coding Horror

Being an expert isn't telling other people what you know. It's understanding what questions to ask, and flexibly applying your knowledge to the specific situation at hand. Being an expert means providing sensible, highly contextual direction.

Advice from James Bach:
  • Practice, practice, practice!
  • Don't confuse experience with expertise.
  • Don't trust folklore -- but learn it anyway.
  • Take nothing on faith. Own your methodology.
  • Drive your own education -- no one else will.
  • Reputation = Money. Build and protect your reputation.
  • Relentlessly gather resources, materials, and tools.
  • Establish your standards and ethics.
  • Avoid certifications that trivialize the craft.
  • Associate with demanding colleagues.
  • Write, speak, and always tell the truth as you see it.
So if you want to be an expert in practice rather than in name only, take a page from Steve McQueen's book. Don't be the guy telling everyone what to do. Be the guy asking all the questions.

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