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Dear Reader,

Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong.

— Unknown

In scuba diving, the skills a student learns are important, they could save their life. New divers are taught skills to “proficiency”, they can successfully perform the skill on-demand. They can’t teach others, but they can save their life, or the life of another diver.

When training Dive Masters, it is a different story. Dive Masters have to be able to perform a skill to to “exemplary”, they have to be able to perform the skill so well that the presentation is an example to other divers. Then, and only then, can they begin to teach that skill to others.

Tech on the other hand, has the mantra of “the best way to learn a new skill is to teach it”. It is fine to present to others what you have built or learned, and inspire them to experiment with your ideas. This is proficiency. This however, is not teaching. Teachers should be able to perform to exemplary, not simply to proficiency.

Learn your important skills – life and career – to exemplary. Then – and only then – go out and teach them to others.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

2 thoughts on “Proficent

  1. Can anyone reach that point in tech, though?

    Usually, there are dozens of different ways to do things, each having pros and cons you need to consider.

    So how can somebody reach “exemplary” level when there’s rarely a one, “true” solution?

  2. My main point is there is a difference between “showing” and “teaching”. In tech at conferences, a lot of us like to show what we’ve done in hopes that it inspires others. We need to stop pretending though that this is teaching because honestly, most of us are not proficient enough to teach. :)


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