On being an expert

July 3, 2018

At the most recent PyRVA meeting, I had the opportunity to coach an aspiring web developer to start his first local web server and view a website that he created. It was truly a privilege to see his excitement.

In the realm of web development, this is a very basic step; one that I usually skip because of how routine it is.

But being with him, I remember how hard it was to get going, how confusing everything was, how many times you have to hit your head against the wall, and how rewarding it was to accomplish something… anything.

And it got me thinking about this blog. I keep starting blog posts, but so much seems below the threshold of what’s “important enough” to say to the world. The truth is, I don’t feel like an “expert” at anything, even after more than 20 years making web sites.

But to that aspiring developer, I am an expert. And on that day, it made all the difference in his world.

So, I aim to share more of what I’ve been learning with you, with the hope I might make something easier for you.

And I’d like to ask you to join me. One thing I’ve been hearing a lot from a few sources is that no one really considers themselves an expert, you are an expert at something, and it’s truly okay to be an expert to someone who knows only a little less than you in an area (so long as you do it humbly).

So, please join me! Create your own blog to share with the world if you like, but also look to see if there’s a local group in your area and offer some support, especially to the organizers and the less-experienced members.

(Finally, I need to give a special shout out to the Django documentation contributors and Timothy Allen, Chad Whitman, Aymeric Augustin, Collin Anderson, and everyone else involved with making it quite a surprising and delightful experience to see Django’s new “up and running” screen. Thank you for making that moment even more special.)

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