One of the most important duties of knowledge workers is to share their own knowledge with the community. Some of you may agree with this statement, but others will ask — why does it really matter?
Today I’d like you to give you some example values that knowledge sharing brings to the table when it’s a part of your daily routine.
Knowledge sharing may be realized through many different forms. Some of us write blog posts, others write longer articles, produce video courses or just contribute to open source documentation. In all of that one thing is getting better and better as the days go by — it’s the ability to teach other people. Is it really that important skill? Well, there are many side-effects of becoming a better teacher. Once you get better at teaching, probably skills like communication, empathy, listening to other people or creative thinking grow together with you. Very soon you can notice how people around you appreciate that you became a better listener or better communicator. By sharing the knowledge, subconsciously you’re making your daily life better.
Knowledge sharing is one of the multiple forms of mastering your personal brand. Does it really matter that much? Well, imagine a situation where your future employer receives ten resumes and out of ten people you’re the only one who decided to give back to the community by running a blog about software development. Spreading the knowledge tells the world that not only you’re active in social media, but you ran this extra mile to learn more, read more and know more. That’s how you can make a difference in a positive way.
There are no industries based on knowledge workers where something grew without the knowledge being shared first. We build faster and safer cars based on the experience of our teachers, we discover new animal species thanks to the experience of those who shared their own knowledge before, and we can help other people by looking at failures of the past. Knowledge sharing helps us incrementally become better and better, only due to the fact that someone written down their experience, recorded this video, or prepared this paper on a given subject.
Software development is a team sport. Every day there are a few hundred thousand software developers starting their careers and doing their best to become better and better. But what are they able to do without access to the knowledge of those who are more experienced? Well, they will waste their time doing the same mistakes as someone in the past. They will get frustrated because of inefficient tools or guides that block them from growing. Finally, our own projects will be in trouble because there will be fewer people who could contribute to the projects and join the teams we work at. In this context, knowledge sharing — while requiring some time — works as an investment for future self. Let other people grow by sharing your own story with them.
Our potential to push the industry forward is much bigger than we could think about. What really bothers me is this relatively small percentage of people who think about it in that way.
There are hundreds of super experienced people who think their knowledge is not worth talking about, and as a result, we are not able to learn from their wins and failures. We need to do our best to convince those people that we want to listen to their stories and as a result — create something better and more valuable for all of us.
Because it's worth it.