June 4, 2008

Strong opinions, weakly held

Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror ruminates about fame, expertise and influence:

Authority in our field is a strange thing. Perceived authority is stranger still.

I've always thought of myself as nothing more than a rank amateur seeking enlightenment. This blog is my attempt to invite others along for the journey. It has become a rather popular journey along the way, which has subtly altered the nature of the journey and the way I approach it, but the goal remains the same...

When it comes to software development, if you profess expertise, if you pitch yourself as an authority, you're either lying to us, or lying to yourself. In our heart of hearts, we know: the real progress is made by the amateurs. They're so busy living software they don't usually have time to pontificate at length about the breadth of their legendary expertise. If I've learned anything in my career, it is that approaching software development as an expert, as someone who has already discovered everything there is to know about a given topic, is the one surest way to fail.

Experts are, if anything, more suspect than the amateurs, because they're less honest. Regardless, you absolutely should question everything I write here, in the same way you question everything you've ever read online -- or anywhere else for that matter. Your own research and data should trump any claims you read from anyone, no matter how much of an authority or expert you, I, Google, or the general community at large may believe them to be.

1 comment:

nisha said...

Hey i totally agree! Its better to be an underdog than a top dog!