2013-01-01 11:34 pm (UTC)
At Berkeley, there was nobody who stood up and said that most of the time when people look like they know what they're doing, they don't. I'm not sure I would have believed it even if they'd said it.
For me, something that really helped make this clear was teaching. I did a lot of teaching in my first couple of years of grad school -- sometimes because I wanted to, sometimes because I had to do it for funding -- and for some of the students, I found that even though they exuded confidence and competence to their peers in class, their homework told a rather different story. Meanwhile, others who didn't particularly stand out in class were kicking ass on the homework.
Of course, homework assignments in an intro PL course aren't the ultimate yardstick of programming ability or anything, but still, the experience was eye-opening. I guess that's one argument in favor of teaching early in one's grad school career, especially if (like me when I got to grad school) one has never taught before.
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