In “Rise of the Expert Beginner” ,... - Deepstash

In “Rise of the Expert Beginner” , an essay that I re-read every couple of years, Erik talks about how developers stop learning. His basic thesis, based on previous studies of skill acquisition, is that people start acquiring skills very quickly. But, at some point in the learning process, they get to a point where they stagnate because the skills that they learned as a beginner will carry them to being an expert.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The local minima of suckiness

There is a way, though, to tell who those people are in your organization, and to try to work with them if at all possible. Good senior developers ask lots of questions to get to the root of problems, and usually they ask them publicly so others can find out the answer. Good senior developers figure out how complicated systems work . Good senior developers carefully review PRs and give feedback, and they also answer questions . chances are you know who the good people in your organization are, because, if you have a question, they’re the first person you think about when asking for help.

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Learning how to ask the right questions at the right time is one of the fundamental skills of being a developer. Formulating the right question takes a lot of time, a lot of trial and effort, and a lot of tinkering with different solutions until the question even makes sense.

This is why an environment where it’s ok to ask stupid questions is important. One of the best ways I’ve seen of dealing with this is having a #dumbquestions channel on Slack. Another is having the Good Senior People ask seemingly simple questions in meetings to empower others.

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The room to make mistakes

we now call it psychological safety.

The simple story is that, in a good, productive software environment, you have the room to mess up. The apocryphal story about how this works is the one where the junior developer breaks production, costing the company thousands of dollars. After he sees this, he starts putting everything on his desk in a box. The CEO comes up to him and says, “Where are you going?” “I just cost the company so much money, I figured I was fired.” “We just paid thousands of dollars to train you. Why would we let you go?”

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You can write print statements in any language pretty quickly (given that you get over the hump of installing it on your local machine). But it takes a very long time to understand how to get from print(“Hello World”) to “Here’s an app that is making machine learning predictions for you in real-time.”

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RELATED IDEA

1. The user is an idiot

The user is not an expert. My doc doesn't require me to know the difference between low-density and high-density lipoproteions. 

Don't assume user should know what kind of browser they use or what is the best flow to use the app. 

But yes, no matter how much you think of it, sometimes the user demand feature that seem pointless and he can have difficulties with functions that seem to be self-explanatory.

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Marcus Lemonis

“People, Process, Product”

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Origin of a Platform team

With growing pains, software entropy kicked in and product developers had to manage several cross-cutting concerns along with their feature work and timelines.

We need to solve problems holistically to handle multiple teams and applications instead of just the projects at hand

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