Excellent post, in the spirit of Albert Einstein's quote: "A true genius admits that he/she knows nothing."
The admission is itself the prerequisite for genius.
To add on, I believe we are seriously lacking a culture and the mechanisms in the software industry to view and support each other as learners. Mentorship and apprenticeship are virtually non-existent and when they are, they are often in name only.
Thanks! Mentorship is a big problem indeed.
My company also tried to create a mentorship program inside.
But we failed twice. Since it requires a lot of time and money, which we could not afford at the time.
So, for now I don't know how to break this vicious circle.
I guess I was lucky then: I was able to find a really good mentor early on in my career. Changed my life, and then happened to be friends with my current manager at my job (didn't know that when I used him as a reference).
10/10 would recommend a mentor, but they're hard to find and often just come out of nowhere.
You're lucky man! I just wrote a post here about this problem when you just start your career and don't find the right company with the right projects and mentors, you really feel disappointed.
I too was lucky enough to have had a couple of mentors early in my career that, IMO, changed everything. Because of this I have taken it on myself to be a mentor when and where I can. I find myself, at this point in my career, managing a large team of UI devs and have the opportunity to help them grow and learn. I feel it is my responsibility. Kind of a "pay it forward" mentality. It's also personally very rewarding.
In the end, I feel that we are all responsible for mentoring each other, and believe we all have something we can share and learn from one another. As practice lead, it's something I expect from my team and have zero tolerance for those that feel they are above others and not willing to share and mentor.
The suck thing about "experience" and learning is, that the more you truly learn/know, the more it reveals what you don't yet know. It often feels like for every one thing I master, I also see that there's at least two more related thing's I've yet to master. It's like a geometric curve of relative-ignorance.
...More, it puts you in a position where you realize "I have expertise, but I am not an expert — and I have no idea what that self-proclaimed expert is because he very clearly has less expertise than I do."
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