Out of the many articles and blog posts I’ve read in 2008, none have been more moving as Jurgen Appelo’s (the SE list guy) Professionalism = Knowledge First, Experience Last.

Do you trust a doctor with diagnosing your mental problems if the doctor tells you he’s got 20 years of experience? Do you still trust that doctor when he picks up a knife and ice picks, and asks you to prepare for a lobotomy?

The article is quite direct when bringing its points forward. I would suggest you read not only the article, but also the rebuttals targeting the weaknesses of his arguments.

Short summary below the cut…

The article highlights two basic differences between a knowledge worker and manual workers:

Knowledge workers must keep abreast with the latest developments of their fields.

When judging a knowledge worker’s experience, one must know the difference between “ten years of experience” and “one year of experience repeated 10 times”.

These two concepts are somewhat alien to most managers and workers especially in a developing country like ours. People still flaunt their “years of experience” even though those years are spent doing the same things over and over without learning anything new.

Regardless, if you want a competitive edge in our market, knowing the importance of continuous, deliberate learning might be your key in getting ahead of the competition.

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