Cautionary tale for Experts

Imagine a beginner (who has come from a decent front-end background) asking not-so-dumb questions to an expert in the field of Native application development. I hate the term “expert” because no one is purely expert in this field – every person is learning something new from others on a daily basis. But I’m quoting the term for the sake of the article. Here is how the conversation went:

Beginner: Is there a way to find an SDK version like we do with JS library?

Expert: What a dumb question! You do not understand native development that’s why you are asking it.

Beginner: Actually documentation does not have that details, hence asked.

Expert: Have you ever coded in Android/Java??

Beginner: Nope. Will I automatically get the new version of the SDK or have to update the manifest file each time?

Expert: Yes, automatic update!

Beginner: So I do not even have to run some sort of build command to pull in the new version like npm update does.

Expert: Please don’t over analyze the things that you don’t understand or don’t know. It wastes your as well as my time 🙂

Beginner: I’m not over analyzing, just trying to understand by comparing it with frontend development, but you can be little gentle solving such queries raised by the beginner like me.

As you can see the expert was trying to be arrogant by his knowledge and skills. To me it were acceptable if and only if he/she would have resolved my queries. Unfortunately, he/she had not answered any query in a sane way though. Una Kravets‘s recent tweet speaks about the same issue:

Through this post I just want to advice all the experts that,

Whatever high-skilled wits you’ve acquired were based on documentation, manuals, books, and articles written by someone else. You would not be the expert today if those experts had disparaged you like that. All the experts owe it to those they have learned from and the only thing to pay back the favor is by sharing your knowledge to the next generation without being cocky.

Remember, Sharing your knowledge with others does not make you less important.