It’s come to my attention that I need to work on technical communication. It’s hard because it feels weird to talk about a subject when it can seem like I know very little.
I don’t mean that derogatorily as much as I mean to say that web development encompasses such breadth and depth, it feels hard to capture it with accuracy and integrity.
I know it’s a skill set I’m insecure with. I shy away from all kinds of technical conversation because it’s clearly easier to not engage and expose your knowledge gaps. Don’t make me be vulnerable—ahhhh!
My hesitance reminds me of going to philosophy club meetings in undergrad. I’d had one intro class when I started going, just a course on a Paris study abroad where we read Plato and a handful of contemporary French philosophers. I didn’t get uncomfortable until I started noticing how many obscurities and quotes and references would pour out of the mouths of other attendees. Žižek? Alan Badi-WHO?
Even the following semester, as I took a course in existentialism, I still found it really difficult to engage. Even when it came to the material, I felt unqualified to interpret the words of Heidegger, Sartre, and the rest. So often, when it came time to socialize about it, I would either divert the subject, listen tentatively, or make jokes.
It doesn’t help that there are quite a few highfalutin members in all of these circles. It’s harder to be vulnerable when you know your tender ignorance will be poked and picked at.
But honestly, that attitude isn’t helpful and should be disregarded. Beginner’s mind is a pretty important concept here—as developers and as humans, we’re constantly learning at all stages. It also helps to find a nonjudgmental community where we feel safe and respected all while growing our knowledge.
For me, it will also be immersing myself in difficult subject matter and challenging projects, and communicating about it despite confusion and uncertainty. It will be about speaking up to get help and clarity because no one can do it by themselves.