Yesterday I was having a discussion about studying with a classic victim of modern education. She went on and on about how she can't find the answers to study, that she can't even find anywhere what kind of questions she must learn to answer. Overall lacking a grasp on what exactly and specifically will be asked of her on a soon-to-come exam.
The real tragedy of this situation is that the more I tried explaining that there are no answer to learn, that there are no questions to find that she must learn the subject at hand and produce the answers on her own, the more she refused and struggled with me that I'm proposing a ludicrous idea that something like that cannot be that she cannot learn that why on earth should she even study when there aren't any answers to learn anyway.
Oh sad sad person, and I'm not naming any names here, thou hast fallen into the trap that is modern education. People these days aren't taught to think anymore, they aren't taught to study the subject matter and then produce their own interpretations based on what they learned, to answer real questions by interpreting what they know and explaining what it means and how it works. They aren't taught to understand but rather to know.
And thus we come to the actual problem, if people aren't taught to think and understand anymore but merely to memorise, where does this leave them in the modern world? What use are people who can't analyze and interpret in the modern world where google, wikipedia etc. are used for knowing, where any information can be found at the cost of a few clicks, the price of a few seconds of time? What will these people even be good for?
The short answer is, nothing. These people are completely useless to modern society.
Luckily however there are still college courses out there that teach thinking and demand autonomy in finding information, analyzing it and deriving new knowledge from old information. Sadly, there are more and more degrees based simply on knowing rather than understanding ...
Learned something new?
Read more Software Engineering Lessons from Production
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Software Engineering Lessons from Production
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️