Many people (including myself) fear that we will be perceived as a fool if we publish on a post blog that contains a mistake, a public mistake. Nobody wants to be humiliated publicly. This fear is encapsulated inside of a quote that Sacha shares:
“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”
But like Sacha, I’d rather know when I’m being a fool. At work, I never shy away from asking “dumb questions”. I’ve come to realize that there’s normally at least one other person who has the same question but they often shy away from asking it for fear of looking stupid. I’ve been that person and I later kick myself in my butt for not speaking up.
If you don’t put your thoughts into words — verbally or written — then its very easy to convince yourself that you understand something, when you really don’t. So many times in both my career and personal life I thought I understood some topic but when I started forming those thoughts into my own words, I realized I had gaping holes in my understanding. For example, my co-worker asked how and why we prefetch in our code base, and when I started explaining, I realized I had to refresh my memory on the cost of certain instructions and CPU pipelining.
In summary, do yourself a favor and when you are learning something, try and explain it someone. You might discover gaps in your understand. And that’s perfectly okay because your writing becomes a “history of change and learning”. This allows us to take a step back and honor our progress and allow us to remember our mistakes and lessons learned along the way.
Chua, Sacha. 2014. A No-Excuses Guide to Blogging.
I’m Matt Chung. I’m a software engineer, seasoned technology leader, and father currently based in Seattle and London. I love to share what I know. I write about topic developing scalable & fail-safe software running in the AWS cloud, digital organization as a mechanism for unlocking your creativity, and maximizing our full potentials with personal development habits.View all articles