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Day 43: on teaching

Posted on 2 mins read

We don’t give our high school teachers enough credit. All of them took on the gigantic task of getting people to do something they didn’t want to do: learn and study as a teenager. And some of them succeeded.

Nowadays, when I think about teaching, what I really think about is mentoring. The idea of someone getting in front of a classroom and teaching me some sort of ultimate truth is something I can no longer relate to. But someone to point us in the right direction, to poke and prod at our curiosity and guide our efforts is amazing. It boosts our ability to learn and reduces the time lost on pointless quests. It’s not because the teacher figure is useless. It’s because I was already taught and now can take full advantage of having a mentor. But without those initial teachers, it wouldn’t be possible.

Being self-taught

A lot of people say they’re self-taught. This is a lie. Nobody is self-taught, we’re all taught by the thousands of teachers on the internet who take time off their schedule to write a blog post. Who create videos, write courses and run workshops, sometimes even for free. The people who are willing to do code reviews on OSS projects and keep an environment where learning is possible. Those are our teachers. And they’re damn good at their job.

I can honestly say that without platforms like Codeschool, Coursera and FrontendMasters I wouldn’t know a lot of the things I know. And without people like Kyle Simpson who wrote the amazing You don’t know Javascript book series I wouldn’t have realized how much I didn’t know (and still don’t).

There are thousands like me. People from all kinds of backgrounds who think coding is kinda cool and want to learn more about it. And thanks to those amazing teachers our community has, they can. We can. Everyday.

All of this makes Software Development one of the most accessible in the world. And ironically, also home to some of the less diverse communities ever, like the recent Stackoverflow Survey proved, but that’s an entirely different issue, one too big for just one blog post.

If you want to learn, that’s fine. But if you’re self-taught, also consider teaching a bit. The world will be a bit better for your efforts.

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