How developers stop learning: rise of the Expert Beginner  ↦

Erik Dietrich:

I believe that there is a unique group dynamic that forms and causes the rot of software groups in a way that can’t be explained by bad external decisions causing the talented developers to evaporate … In this post, I’m going to set the stage by describing how individuals opt into permanent mediocrity and reap rewards for doing so.

A must-read piece for anyone in danger of getting stuck in the “Expert Beginner” loop.

… during these years, the software developers are job-hopping and earning promotions, especially these days. As they breeze through rapid acquisition, so too do they breeze through titles like Software Engineer I and II and then maybe “Associate” and “Senior,” and perhaps eventually on up to “Lead” and “Architect” and “Principal.” So while in the throes of Dunning-Kruger and Advanced Beginnerism, they’re being given expert-sounding titles and told that they’re “rock stars” and “ninjas” and whatever by recruiters–especially in today’s economy. The only thing stopping them from taking the natural step into the Expert Beginner stage is a combination of peer review and interaction with the development community at large.


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