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Chris Arcand


Open source Ruby developer at Red Hat. Occasional speaker, frequent backpacking and hockey enthusiast, constant husband and dad.

Minneapolis, MN


Don't become an Expert Beginner

This post is older by now but still so, so important - and this is something that is universal to all learning, not just software development (or bowling!). Erik Dietrich explains How Developers Stop Learning.

Advanced Beginners can break one of two ways: they can move to Competent and start to grasp the big picture and their place in it, or they can ‘graduate’ to Expert Beginner by assuming that they’ve graduated to Expert.

The Expert Beginner has nowhere to go because progression requires an understanding that he has a lot of work to do, and that is not a readily available conclusion. You’ll notice that the Expert Beginner is positioned slightly above Advanced Beginner but not on the level of Competence. This is because he is not competent enough to grasp the big picture and recognize the irony of his situation, but he is slightly more competent than the Advanced Beginner due mainly to, well, extensive practice being a Beginner.

“How Developers Stop Learning: Rise of the Expert Beginner” by Erik Dietrich

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