Knowledge

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
Margaret Fuller

I very much like that one from Margaret Fuller because this does not apply to all of us working in the education industry: so many engineers have so much knowledge, but do not share it, as if they are afraid that they will lose something? Sharing knowledge is an excellent way to increase your own knowledge too.

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7 thoughts on “Knowledge

  1. Sad, but true. I think, it’s because we do not see knowledge sharing as good, common pattern. It’s so rare that experienced engineers are happy to share their knowledge. Also, this do not pays off, at least in short term. Last thing: we are convinced, that we have to be experts to share our knowledge, which is absolutely not true.

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    • Hi Marek,
      100 agree. I’m wondering why knowledge sharing is not seen as a good and common pattern. I have seen too many cases where engineers were not sharing their knowledge where I think the motiviation was ‘job protection’: because if someone else would know things, another person (or group) could take over my their job. Up to the point that engineering groups keep their own protected repositories and file servers, or have their outcome encrypted or only provided as library files to prevent others could gain knowledge about how things are done. That might work short term, but is very short sighted. And you are correct: you don’t have to be an expert on a topic to share it. I think this is one of the big sucess factors of the ‘Arduino world’: a lot of ‘unexperienced’ users are sharing their know-how, and because they are not ‘experts’ (yet), they share it in a language understandable by non-experts.

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      • Maybe it’s because we were told, that our knowledge is sooooo precious, and we have to put so much effort to gain it – so we have to “protect” our goods, right? 😉
        I suppose, our attitude to knowledge sharing will change in time – everything is already available in the Internet, so one person cannot stop another by telling: I won’t teach you.

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  2. I do agree with you on the sharing Erich. I recently undertook teaching a one day-a-week class in robotic design for 13/14 yo. There is way too much energy in the office on class day. I have been criticized and chastised by some of my peers because I do this for free. I see the imparting of the knowledge as a necessity as the engineering fields are shrinking as so many of us retire. This up and coming generation does not have the drive we had, at least in the US. My retirement will be when they care me out of the lab/machine shop for my Viking funeral.
    Stay tuned these kids are designing and building a commercial grade robot for the local farms.

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    • I’m looking forward to see that robot system :-). I’m careful about saying ‘in the past it was better’ (I think every generation says the same), but I feel as well that here in Europe the new generation has a different drive. Maybe they have a lot more and different opportunities and are spreaded thin. The other thing what is happening over here are dramatic cost reductions in the schools and education areas, with huge impact on nearly everything. I think this is very short sighted not only in the public domain, but as well in many companies: Cutting down education and learning budgets never has paid off in the long run in my view.

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  3. I think that actually IT industry is doing well in terms of knowledge sharing. The whole “Stackexchange” (especially “Stackoverlow”) is something really outstanding. If you compare the ability to sharing between IT guys and for instance lawyers… you see a difference 😀 However, there is for sure plenty of people who can contribute more. I also totally agree that sharing knowledge is invaluable for self-development.
    We (as the IT industry) are on the right track 🙂

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