Where did you look before for good video/article tutorials to get you the point where you became the teacher, not the student?
This week’s email is another in the “What one software industry secret do you want to know?” series – real questions from real developers. Have a question you want answered? Just reply to this email and ask!
There’s an old saying: “those who can’t do, teach”.
This is complete bullshit and lies meant to demean the people that actually can teach, coming from those that have never figured out how to teach. The truth is, “those who can’t teach, do”.
If you truly want to test your knowledge and force yourself to dig deep in to your skill set and capabilities, teach someone something they don’t know. You will be forced to face what you really know and what you don’t know, in a way that you have never had to do before.
Here’s the deal on teaching, though… being able to teach means being an expert at learning, first. Secondly, it means being able to understand people well enough to meet them where they are. You have to be able to talk to people at the level of understanding they currently have, but without sounding condescending or arrogant (which, by the way, puts me at an immediate disadvantage… but that’s why writing works so well for me – lack of “tone of voice”).
My Teaching And Leading
In spite of me and my arrogance, I became the teacher the moment I realized I knew something that someone else didn’t know. I realized that it’s not about being an expert or knowing everything. No one knows everything, but everyone knows something that another person doesn’t know. It’s only a matter of finding what it is that you know, and being willing to step out there and tell people.
For me, it’s a natural part of who i am. When i worked in fast food places, I very quickly moved in to team leadership positions. I had a knack for seeing the big picture and being able to organize people around the goals in a way that helped the entire team get things done. this carried over in to my software development career, for me. It’s a part of who i am, and i’m very lucky in that regard.
For others that aren’t naturally inclined (or arrogant enough) to assume leadership and teaching, becoming the teacher can seem a daunting task. But really, it’s no more difficult than writing a blog post or answering a question on stack overflow. Being a teacher is not about knowing all of the answers. It’s about knowing how to find the answers when you need them. It’s about knowing how to share the answers with others, and it’s also about knowing when you have no clue and being willing to admit that openly and honestly. People respect and follow those that are willing to share everything they know and admit what they don’t know. If you can combine that with an ability to either find answers or find people who can find answers, then you have become the teacher.
Where To Start
If you’re not already blogging, start there. Any time you solve a problem, blog it. Write something very short about “here’s the problem i had. here’s the solution i found”. Don’t expect people to care – at least not for a while. Just write it for yourself so that you will always have a place to refer to when that same problem comes up again. It takes a long time, but eventually people will care because they’ll see you solving the problems they have. Solve your own problems and you will be solving someone else’s problems, too. So blog it, speak about it at conferences, tell your coworkers and answer questions on stack overflow. Do anything and everything you can to share your knowledge, because I guarantee you know something that someone else doesn’t know.