I haven’t read Coding Horror in a long time but I was going through my badly neglected RSS feeds tonight and ran into Strong Opinions, Weakly Held and it really struck a chord with something I’ve been giving some thought to for quite awhile. It’s a deep dark secret I’ve got, one I’ve been harboring for a long time, one that I think it’s time came out in the open:
I AM NOT AN EXPERT.
There, I said it. Whew, it feels good. Don’t get me wrong, I like feeling like I know just about everything but in reality, I have this huge streak of insecurity running through me about just about everything and I’m mostly OK with it. You see, experts make me nervous. People who have an opinion on everything make me real nervous. When I see people who lust after validation through external achievements and accolades, I get downright skittish. I’m never going to be a Microsoft MVP or have 5 certifications or be able to say I architected a huge flux capacitor enterprise level CRM MOSS portal. It’s just not me.
I like to get my hands dirty doing things like setting up builds, making sure unit tests run, facilitating communication by creating a wiki no one but me will ever read (if I set up a wiki and no one reads it, is it still communication?) These aren’t things that get you an MVP. But they are things that long term will make your software better. In the end, it’s good that I don’t want to be an expert. I’m not nearly smart enough. I make up for smarts by doing the dirty work. I’ll have to leave the hard stuff to the experts.