IntelligenceDecember 18, 2013 -
Words like “intelligent” and “stupid” and “smart” and “genius” get thrown around quite a lot these days. I think they’re all mostly bullshit and distract from the real issues.
In software, we often run into people who lack the depth of knowledge and experience in the various fields necessary to make apps. Many of us lack business and marketing experience, some of us lack experience in Object Oriented Programming or Functional Programming, many of us lack experience in a specific platform or language. Maybe now we use that new language or platform for work.
Now, someone who does have experience in these fields (or at least thinks they do) might think “man, these other people are such idiots. I’m the most intelligent person here” or “they must be stupid because they don’t do xyz!” and that’s simply not the case.
To say someone is stupid or an idiot or lack intelligence is reductive and definitely not helpful. In my limited time trying to teach people how to program better, I’ve run into many people who are extremely smart. Probably smarter than me (though I think comparisons like that are also unhelpful). The reason I’m teaching them isn’t because I’m smarter than them, it’s because I have more experience than them in the field I’m teaching them about.
One of my clients recently hired me to come in and talk to their team about using Core Data in iPhone apps. These are all smart young people who make value in the form of software on a daily basis. They just haven’t ever used Core Data for any of that software yet, so they wanted to ask questions and get an explanation. They wanted to benefit from my experience so that they could more quickly get back to delivering value.
So if you’re one of those people who lack experience, don’t worry about it. Un-isolate yourself, go out and find the people who can help you and absorb as much of their experience as you can. If anyone tries to put you down, you tell them to take it up with me.
And if you’re the jerk calling everyone else idiots simply because they don’t have a depth of experience in the specific topic you’re trying to discuss or use, then shut up. Nobody cares if you’re right when nobody wants to talk to you or work with you anymore. Nobody listens when you call them an idiot. You probably won’t even listen to me because I called you a jerk.