Daniel Lemire's blog

, 3 min read

How do you become an expert?

3 thoughts on “How do you become an expert?”

  1. trylks says:

    Also: read and listen. Stand on the shoulders of giants. You can learn faster and better about (e.g.) design patterns by reading *and* practicing than by doing any of those things uniquely. For papers and research you have to be familiar with the state of the art and cite the relevant papers, we could even say that it’s “mandatory”.

    Then maybe we could discuss whether Java is a good thing to become an expert at or there are better languages. But that’s a different matter.

  2. Laurent says:

    There’s a good book on the subject, “So Good They Can’t Ignore You”. Cal Newport calls what you describe the “Craftsman Mindset”: push your skills consistently to build career capital.


  3. Doug says:

    I wish management and business executives would listen to your advice.

    I estimate that it takes 5 years for us to coach a new college graduate to become competent in either of my two areas of expertise (stress & life methods engineer.) It takes about 10 for them to be recognized as an “expert.” That’s based on successfully mentoring about a dozen new grads with freshly printed BS, MS, or PhD.

    I once shared that estimate with a VP and he replied “then we’re hiring the wrong people. I’ve been studying those two disciplines constantly for more than 20 years and I still learn something new every year.