Friday, July 1, 2016

The more you know, the more you know what you don’t know

The last weeks I interviewed a lot of people that wanted to join our company, some of them just finished their studies, some had a few years of work experience and some had years of experience working in the IT industry. If I compared CV’s between these people I noticed that their are big differences on how people rate their skills. Especially young professionals seems to be very confident that they are experts in things like HTML, JavaScript, CSS just to name a few, until the moment you really start to ask some though questions about each of these topics.

It made me think about the four stages of competence:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence. You don’t know what you don’t know.
  2. Conscious Incompetence. Now you know what you don’t know.
  3. Conscious Competence. You can think your way through an exercise and perform it with some conscious effort.
  4. Unconscious Competence. You can perform the task without thinking about it. It’s automatic. It’s burned into your body and it just knows what to do.

This is not only applicable when you are learning a new skill, but also when you want to teach this skill to someone else.

A good example is driving a car, once you know how to do it, it becomes quick an unconscious competence. The problem is that when you have to teach it to someone else, you first have to move it back to your conscious memory before you can start explaining it.

Conclusion: humans are strange creatures Smile

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