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🤔 Reflection of the day: Are you really an expert on a subject?

August 20, 2021

Reflection of the day: how do you know if you have mastered a concept or a technology?

Sometimes it can be comfortable to think that you are the expert on a subject in your field of activity.

IT and the software industry go fast, very quickly. That’s a fact, we even talk about “sprints”…

This question can obviously be extended to all fields.

This is most certainly due to the volatility of data on the Internet and the speed of human thought.

How many times have I said to myself: this is it, I know the Kung-Fu when I was wrong, I just haven’t tackled it.

I hope this reflection will help some of you.

How to make sure that you master a subject and not that you copy an already established procedure, an arbitrary choice of others?

Are there any tips to ensure a good mastery of a subject?

More than a ready-made technique, I have a guideline, a checklist.

The list is not exhaustive, I give you the result of my experience here for free:

  • Taking free or paid courses on this subject (this is obviously the basis). It remains to find relevant and quality courses, but that remains another subject!.
  • Define an acceptable perimeter according to the Pareto law in 80/20 mode for example.
  • Obtain permanent information on the subject in an active and passive way (rss, social network, books, various news, conferences).
  • Try to explore the subject from different angles (economic, technical, philosophical, sociological …) and try to set up relevant visualizations.
  • Present the subject by popularizing it (simplify as much as possible) and collect opinions, recommendations to improve your approach.
  • Compete against your community in the form of polls, and listen to feedback from others. Start the debates by being the detractor or the defender to gather different opinions.
  • Make a cartography of the concept and peripheral notions (via a mind map for example), open your research and your questions on these bordering subjects.

Remember, a total mastery does not exist, be reassured if the subject is vast in knowing perfectly that a portion can already be an achievement.

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Words by Sylvain MARTIN an experienced developer living in Nantes in France. I am passionnate of innovation and WEB technologies. You should follow me on Twitter