Software Engineering at Google Chapter #3 - Knowledge Sharing (2 of 3)

  • Don’t explain or re-explain things just to show off
  • Avoid pedantic corrections that are more about grandstanding and less about precision
  • Always be learning, always be asking questions
  • Don’t mistake “knowing everything” with seniority
  • By asking questions that fill gaps in your knowledge it encourages others to do the same
  • Chesterson’s Fence: Before removing or changing something, first understand why it’s there
  • Learning is an iterative process
  • It is critical for leadership to model the behaviors outlined in this section as it serves as an example for the entire organization
  • Use tools such as group chats, mailing lists, wikis, and other Q&A platforms in order to scale knowledge
  • Experts should hold “office hours” for non-urgent knowledge sharing, discussion, and technical reviews. Office hours can be a block of time that is repeated, or people can schedule time with the expert for 1 on 1 consultation
  • Expertise is a multidimensional vector and everyone is at different levels of expertise in each category
  • Tech talks are “sage on the stage” with a Q&A where classes are more interactive (hands on exercises, learning gates, etc)
  • Think carefully before creating a class. It takes a lot of human effort to develop, teach, and maintain it and more importantly it is only appropriate for certain situations.
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