In the drizzly February of 2015, I was in San Francisco with a gaggle of Scottish women visiting some of the big tech giants such as Pinterest, Facebook and Google. Whilst there, we were invited to IDEO.
For those who are unaware, IDEO is a digital product design company based out in Palo Alto (amongst other places) and they are connoisseurs of human-centred design. Some examples of their ideology include:
- Employing a 96-year-old woman to design and build a range of products to support the elderly.
- Having an entire PlayLab which makes your inner child want to crash out on the beanbags and play with magic.
- Building fantastic projects such as a sassy parking space assignment chatbot.
One thing that really stood out to me during our visit was their mantra of employee progression: Learn-Do-Teach. I have used it as a signpost in my own career ever since.
At its core, the idea is simple, they ask:
For each skill that you possess, where is it on the learn-do-teach scale?
For example, a high-level snapshot of my own LDT scale at the moment:
I know that I'm happiest when I have pending learning to supplement what I am already actively dabbling with, but it's different for everyone. There are some paradigms (such as C# .NET) that I will never feel I fully "know", but always work with and am capable of teaching aspects of...! It always depends, and it's always a fluid model - the joy of being a developer is that you can never really stop learning! <3
As we come to the close of 2018, now might be a good time to line up your own learnings or teachings. What's next for you?