Learning is Bidirectional

June 13, 2024 Life

I remember a situation from early on in my career where I asked my more senior coworker for some help. They came to my desk and showed me how things are done. Full of awe, I reached out to them afterward and told them: "Thank you so much for showing me this, I learned a ton from you!". To my surprise, they responded with: "No worries! I learned a lot from you too!"

This was really confusing to me. The more senior folks are supposed to be the teachers, and I am just the student. What is there to learn from me?

However, being fortunate to have been on the other end, I now get it.

Good teachers are not the ones who only preach their own way of thinking. Instead, they will be your peers when exploring the problem and will solve it with you, not for you. In doing so, they will pick up your way of articulating the problem, your way of thinking about the world, your way of approaching the problem, and so much more.

Learning, at its best, is a bidirectional relationship away from any hierarchical structure. Everyone gets better as a result of it.

Other Notes

June 13, 2024
Engineering/The 50-50 Goal
May 17, 2024
May 2, 2024
April 3, 2024
Engineering/Infrastructure/Deploy Workers Programatically
April 2, 2024
March 7, 2024
Engineering/Feature Flags
February 21, 2024
Engineering/Demo Culture
February 16, 2024
February 1, 2024
May 5, 2023
Engineering/ML/Jaccard Similarity
May 4, 2023
May 2, 2023
Engineering/Front-End/Modern Front-End Problems
November 3, 2022
Engineering/Test Matrixes
February 25, 2022
February 25, 2022
Engineering/Front-End/React’s Escape Hatch
February 21, 2022
January 1, 2022

About the author

Philipp Spiess
Philipp Spiess [ˈʃpiːs]

Prev: Engineer at Sourcegraph and Meta, curator of This Week in React, React DOM team member, and Team Lead at PSPDFKit.