Pragmatic 10: Passion Over Academic Proof

27 January, 2014


John and Ben discuss the problems that arise when we rely on qualifications alone to gauge a person’s potential. Just how valuable are degrees, certifications and tests in evaluating someone’s passion, work ethic or dynamism?

Transcript available
Weekly discussion shall, depleting the practical application of technology exploring the real retreat office we look at how greed ideas are transformed into products and services that can generalise nothing is as simple as it seems that Alexander McCall is discharging is not so going exceptionally well actually Ben after a few reasons first of all this is episode that tends so really are excited that we've just had a double digit switches call data so now know to recall plus the first light show and personally my first live show so imager are now so I am really really excited about this one so special for a couple reasons but are luckily it wasn't just that I am getting a call I was longer really okay I'm always nervous I I get really nervous before any sort of live thing a man named by some studies fantastic the Glasgow than those of normal so right to get into its arm my thank youse and everything to everybody on our unfortunately fortunately depends they will think about it the list has reached the point now where I'm going to have to start having some general thank youse are to everyone from Twitter and each week for their great feedback about the show it's all really appreciated and as I said listers is getting so long so I've i.e. have generally will faint people on on the medium in which they can contact me and are thank them for the listener show I'm really glad they're enjoying it as an hour from now will be a general thank you of the list is as long as it was this week so I also apology to Zach who I believe is in the chat room are his last name is pronounced Zach Sue check so my apologies for that I realised arm Ben suggested is Twitter tagline was to many consonants, vowels so arm yes indeed but anyhow so Zach I'll now say your name correctly and are apologies that are also will have a special thank you to all listeners who emailed me directly and there's actually been quite a few what's done is it sort of given me a bit of a handle on the demographics of the people are listening beyond people that are normally conversed with on Twitter are it's been great because some people have a preference to emails a little bit maybe a bit more old-fashioned I guess up to it to extend it to say a lot more than just hundred 4256 characters so I have Ashley got a few listeners out there that are also electrical engineers or control system engineers and are even got one from a theoretical physicist and mathematician so that's really cool really appreciate when people take the time to send email and some just now tell bit about themselves and how much they enjoy the show so thanks very much for those under and that they were fantastic also had another two reviews are on iTunes are both from the USA so thanks guys thank you to arm frets 009 and scars bag great awesome name that so yes I was brilliant not only radio stations and the others but a few of those skull and I don't like the morning after helpful open who are okay I'm sorry you're not you're not really that sound but anyhow moving on lovely okay so I think we should die Australian if so this is one of those topics is a little bit fluffy to me it's not it's not about arm sign engineering specifically and it's a little bit matter and I said at the beginning to show you remember I said specifically that we were not going to do matter on this show so not the show talking about itself and any aspect and I kinda am going to be going back on that I think I'm afraid a little bit for this episode so will talk about is essentially measuring knowledge and expertise in an age where we have searched the Internet and search engines and all this information and a fingertips essentially do you have a degree or do you have a Google searching degree and does it matter which you have so announced Conover a weird one but the reason that this came up as a camp personally for me recently are actually in about three different instances so that it was the into spine doing it and also I thought was a bit different our little bit different from other previously so after episode 10 so arm starting out impressions of other people and is specifically one narrowed down to relating to technical ability of course people have got all sorts of levels of the differential respect to different people like you I respect that the Obadiah because he can lift weights that are likely to lift heavy weights I cannot go he sir got his God can play a musical estimate I can't the great dancer and anything that they do that you wish that you could do not really focusing on that more folk try to focus on our technical knowledge of technical ability and that could be in a whole range of different fields not just engineering but could be anything could be in web development software design doesn't matter so I will try look at this from two different angles and is this the two different angles I've got have common threads and that's one of the reasons why I'm sort of one logger from two angles the first angle is there is some SLB strange that the idolising idolising of other people and this could be anybody of course people that you work with people that you are the open perhaps some professionals that have that are very popular are they could be no dare I say bloggers on the Internet they could be anybody that you know the people 10 pedicle tensiometer level popularity they tend to idolise other people in sale F there are there really really an expert in in in this field and therefore I'm suddenly really interested in everything that that they want that they have that that their opinion on everything and is that's one of the angles I want to explore a little bit the other one is impressions of other people from an interviewing point of view and may sound strange but from my my possession and position the last decade or so is I've done a fair bit of management and I've had to do a lot of apologies for the door slamming their very windy arm I had to hiring and so on and during that time I've interviewed a lot of people and I've seen people and I and their first impression is that they give you are critical to whether or not they get a role the company and how they go on the company longer term and is the way in which we gauge their knowledge and experience is has a lot in common with how we are sometimes people idolise other people and just print based on the content that they produce in and the work that they're aware of so are and why things are interviewing I find they always say that first impressions are the most important but honestly first impressions for me are the most misleading because most of the time first impressions turn out to be completely different to what the person is actually like his the realities people get nervous you know people tired they have bad mornings and you sometimes I just an interview well and that's and it's tough to evaluate the full get stuck into much that stuff let's try and look at the pieces go together to what makes what I believe anyway makes knowledge this may not be an exhaustive list but from my perspective looking at us are I think is three pieces to what is generally perceived to be knowledge the first is the ability of specific details formulas facts a rote learning that sort of thing as the first piece second piece is you using your memory of that information to solve real-world problems of the practical application if you will of what you've learnt in in in the first one and the third one experience in the first two allows you to focus on the details that matter so there's 100 different details that you're trying to figure out for a software design because you been doing it for a certain period of time you've got you've learnt this the specifics you know you can apply that to the problem with that experience you can then pluck out the key components you know to spend the most time on CR none of the most trouble with this therefrom and a focus on that so when it comes to assessing each of those turns out everyone tends to focus on number one and the reason that they do is because that's the easiest service will start slowly through repetition is kinda obvious it's just the way that we as as as as an animal as we learned when we make connections in our brain when we do certain actions we keep doing them over and over we get better and more refined more precise faster like, good stuff the thing is that different people have different parts of their brains that are faster at making connections through repetition than some other people might have those same areas in their brains so some people for example have our excellent sale learning and fine motor skills arm other people you for want a better description are uncoordinated but they may be better a pattern recognition or logical problem-solving or all sorts of different things in the list is endless probably but the point is that different people have the ability to learn different things in different aspects of life that by repetition and the rate at which people learn through repetition obviously varies from person to person one particular kind of person are has a gift or a curse to be a thing about this and called an eidetic memory and the funny thing is reading up on eidetic memories arm on eidetic memory by some of his recall a photographic memory so if arm you read a book and you can recall Word for Word exactly what was in that book then that's fantastic you may well have a photographic memory on eidetic memory but it's also hotly debated as to whether or not that's actually a real conditional not because it's difficult for people to prove definitively is not on what from what I it's not wasn't no I don't think you really matter if you are it's like at this constant noise but you can trade off your eye I agree I would not like to have it to be honest are the sometimes I think I would like it but then you know perhaps the more you think about it maybe as a burger things you don't have it but in any case from a affectional point of view that in 20 people of that that that have had this condition for official point of view I cover example most probable I can think of recently is our Sheldon Cooper from our the Big Bang theory if you're into that show are also Sherlock Holmes by Strath Conan Doyle wow had a eidetic memory arm give her another moving ice although I really enjoyed our summer 1935 movie by Alfred Hitchcock all the 39 steps and Mr memory in that particular movie was the sort of the ultimates are Wales and the star of it but he was certainly the year so you keep one around another spoiler I can't spoil at Elizabeth Sound are integral the dragons are to think she is I think you may be right so there's actually quite a few cases of it fixed the infection the truth is it's far more rare than that and again difficult to diet actually diagnosed for sure but some real-world examples that I found notable word John for Nyman are and of course our Nikola Tesla so there are there have been people that actually do have this but it is very rare so for the rest of us we have to read the same thing over and over and over and over are in order to actually fritter sinking for our brain dysfunction absorbent up so on Cuyahoga said, glad I have an eidetic memory and I think it's not as much fun as they thought they say so school at pretty much any level is about repetitive learning for the purposes of instance or near instant retrieval of information if you think that way to the point at which you are you loan account Tanya learned your A-Z by Lizzie and you go you don't stop and think what comes after letter I asked been doing it 100,000 times it just comes to you and that sort of instant retrieval and everything that is the point of a rote learning but what happens when a search engine like Google insert the name of another search engine you might actually think is any good like being maybe all round doctor go all your ASCII whatever which one sorry Ask Jeeves Ask Jeeves 799 have vascular plants I've never heard of it but then a million living under a rock are not around anymore and Melissa shame it's our kinda funny but anyway so when you got a search engine that can yield very targeted results I mean it may take a little bit longer but the information is more accurate than most people's memory are not all about ABCD if she wasn't talking about our technical details so let's say neither synchronous motor equation or you needed to brush up on three transformed you doing some 80 conversion delayed version will be doing your you working at some level that you don't normally work at that you're aware of it you know that you can search for it and you can just pull out data are up real fast and it's all there and your guarantee guarantee you that you're going to have a more accurate result searching through that then you will from relying on your memory from 20 years ago let's say so for at least a decade now we've lived in a world where fast accurate search practically every mainstream fact is possible from a computer connected to the Internet but more interestingly in the last five years or so from anyone's smart phone as well which you will have a new pretty much at all times and songs you've got a cellular signal and assuming you haven't you have a data planner reasonably then you have access in your pocket now obviously highly detailed in-depth niche staff is still hard to find but every year there is more and more of it coming onto the Internet people that are doing PhD's are publish their thesis or Dolby white papers that scientists top scientists and researchers around the world they add on to the Internet some you pay for most of may put out the dust free you a hard copy I pay for a course but now this is a lot of stuff going on the net a lot motor you belong to find it if it's a bit more niche but it's there so I guess the point is that if you're employing someone a role for assessing whether good or smarter qualified enough to to do whatever it is that you're wanting them to do all if you're following their work let's say like a blob of articles or podcasts of the doing whatever how you when you start in assessing whether or not they are either unfit for the role or the interesting enough to to follow or to be interested in in what they say and what they do go a technical point of view so back in the bad old days it was a degree as a degree says you you went to college and university for five years allow the staff and you passed your piece paper graduation strike and wavelike honour thing photo opportunity so the thing is that's that's that's a great way of testing at that moment in time Russell written about this before there was an article I wrote about called dumb and obvious common rural human and is iso-double bit into that but it made me think about what I'm doing with the show to an extent because we are yes I have a degree about 20 years ago and a lot of the stuff that I've done in that time you know your memory gets a little bit blurry little bit faded year you know the key points but where do I go I now go to Google search on Wikipedia I brush up my memory I get out the textbooks very rarely now because the Internet is so such a massive repository of knowledge and is unfair a few points about articles every now and then but generally speaking it's better than my memory so I do a lot of research because I want to make sure that my memory is not fussy, make sure that that sharpen accurate and correct because I don't want to be having putting Mr Ms incorrect information misinformation out there so access to the Internet is very very important from that point of view and from work point of view is just as important as well because in a work in fact this problem is more important than support just because it's your job and so you need to make sure the information that you are executing in your job is the correct information so I saw the final bit some annoying when employers curtail use of the Internet for all sorts of different reasons and is out to me it's its leg is one of the greatest is not all that a muscle free choice of free is certainly a massive resource so Canada real embarrassing admission that aren't are bigger solely hundred hours on is no longer work on the site and wanted to put a JavaScript librarian arm and a I completely forgot had elected JavaScript arm which you do one nonwork radar are little bit you when I did for them most of my career and it was like yeah I can Eagle block regularly while delayed just about but I just begun everything in it I was a year Ray it's crazy how quickly that one way that I nearly added just took a 2nd to view source on the same thing and see what it was but saying it was another company and shaking what people's memories this is a funny thing with memories because that that the brain compresses information doesn't think it needs much anymore and shuffles around Mount unforgiving like hard drives it files but on the obvious it's not but yeah it's it's almost things of the people of our I have to admit that I ficus while doing research on several of the shows that I was I a hiker swore that it was that I was I thought was this an engine read through my car dammit I like ours again confuses something else and that's what the brain sorta does at least and this is something that is important to note is that scientists are still learning about how the brain learns and stores information and one of the ways of the it's is seems to be is sought through common thread so there is a common sort of fact of of knowledge that it sort of links together a little bit so that he can sometimes get memories are cross connected in the confused so the only authentic feel bad about assigning it is the reality of being year ciders in the middle year now since I've done any real labwork go a them on my coatings than Objective-C side five we just replaced those those around with some difference for the time being and yards is flexible but are things is another fight I would forget infrastructure while an asset and a surfacing of recent our recent experience in recent memory but the funny thing I found is that I did a lot of further our plc programming and scar programming in my last job when I was so IT to jobs ago got time flies and was about two years ago and is when I was doing I do work honour on a function block and I deployed it out to the 43 PLCs and so on and then I come back to it two months later it was like someone was written so you anyway okay so fundamentally low when it comes to qualification and this is the thing that I find more than anything else is that it's not actually a test of of knowledge and this is this is the that the really crazy part to me it comes back more to a professional perception so it and asthma built up over decades with colleges and universities essentially pushing their own wheelbarrow in creating their own reason for existence and don't get me wrong I'm not saying that educational institutions shouldn't exist they should but it's the importance of the degree just how important is the degree in all the competition for all the students money so you old Harvard or MIT and at the ridiculous amounts of money that they charge attracting the best and brightest and richest usually are all people are lucky enough good enough to get a really good scholarship for example all of that focus attention is come from years and years and years of them turning out good students and having a solid yellow study in my plan for the students to different degrees and so and so forth but the funny thing is for me it's not just an assessment of the degree is from the University but the funny thing is that 95 to 98% I would say quite comfortably of what I learned in five years at university I simply have never used MS the tragedy is that if you're really only going and spending five years of your life to get a qualification or some kind of knowledge that is 2 to 5% of those five years of your time and money that surely is a rip-off you know especially if you've got a good search engine and all the information out there that is available to you and you can target specifically what you will learn so that's that's sort of the flipside of it as you go back 20 years there was no other option because how'd you know what what are maybe get some of the encyclopedias beyond what learn about lexical engineer you figure out what textbooks you need to read right now what white papers you need to read there was no while there was an Internet that Jesus wasn't much to it so all of this is changing it for sale for the first time my life a couple months ago I need to use dietary as I was playing around with arm the new game Apis socket are great and it and now dizzy going on another and I didn't understand why they needed it never clicked from in-school arm that is defined mouth but it is the way it was presented with soul disjointed and is connected is never a think that is never really are deeply grafted and be an outlet spending basically not an afternoon just playing around with something much firmer and we are actually very late as as I didn't want to finish an economics degree and I looked at and wanted to design a do not do development work and a lot of other courses were answered and I think Candice can go work for a guy and learn their thinkers rejoice you exactly and I think the problem the anomaly gets more into this and in a minute but the problem that that I have with the education system is the first of all it's a snapshot in of capability in time and time changes your memory that's just a reality of being a human being you can't become an altar that so the other thing is that you have to see it for what it is is it simply a piece of paper that says I have a commitment to do this and it suggests that I might maybe be okay at this sort of work but really that's all it says it doesn't really prove you can actually produce anything it doesn't prove that your actually knowledgeable you can learn a bunch of facts but can you apply them and can you develop experience as a result of an application that's really what matters I think and of course if that's all your judgement is that all that matters to you then what is wrong with a search on the Internet for what you want to know about so okay in engineering I have to admit it is hard to avoid certification and there's all sorts of reasons for that which I talked about are in an earlier episode so that said there are lots and lots where it is very hard to justify qualifications where honestly that that the actual qualification itself seems almost like someone thought it would be a nice idea to put a course together for this and I so and I are not immensely specific ones because that will sound like I'm attacking Pacific managing onlookers were used to do what you may if you wish to bitterness you may have heard of on company goals were space and they released a local art design service last summer arm you the VCD program at camp Merriman score was in sewing on 2001 when I laughed arm you didn't touch a computer and tell you were by the second half of your junior and an end and it connected that there are there are fashion designer VCD program directly pretty competitive there are enough torrid into and it actually counts for a lot that the Kim out so far behind arm in favour of these come are supplied what you like the mother needed to develop a program so they could how this degree and the entire industry are changed and continued to and I that no retinal rep Noor arm reflection on reality as I see really good point something I missed is that the problem of a snapshot in time is that technology moves so damn quickly these days that the tools change so quickly regulations change very quickly all sorts of things change and move forward and that change is accelerating so what ever qualification you've got may well be useless within 3 to 5 years time and that's at all less and that's that's kinda scary because you think a lot of time and effort into these qualifications so you better get value for money out so okay arm I guess I thought a lot about this over the years and the framing is okay I'm a guy standing here with a degree saying all of this but honestly why I'm saying what I'm saying is because I've seen people that have come in and I've interviewed that have worked for me and I've seen how they succeeded and failed and I think I've got for me anyway I've seen a couple things in common that were sharing I wish and whenever anyone starts a sentence with I wish arm there take a few grains of salt without piano I certainly wish that qualification would change such that you did not actually enrolled in a university or college or you would do is they would produce a set of standardised tests you could study they got suggested notes maybe and you would pay a fee every time you sat the exam and you could choose in there be a set of exams you could take and those would then give you a qualification no going to lectures no tutorials in no nothing you are entirely responsible for learning everything in order to sit and pass that exam at which point under controlled conditions of course at which point you could get the qualification just cut all the other crap out one and if we had that to some degree their arm in the US a list you can take arm with on advanced placement and shocking news that you're testing out of our guide for years Aladdin has gone side as I was able to start about and is inhabiting language arm bite you didn't see Michael extends beyond that night and this is the thing is you talk about all the big-name Yale University's colleges and what have you they they would they don't do that and I why would really love to hear from listeners is if there are cases of that around round the world I would love to know about are because I honestly think it is far better way of doing if you do it all because honestly what you've got is you've got all the information available at your fingertips to learn what you need to learn to sit the test and to pass the test you don't have to learn this the thing you if you sit in lectures for 13 weeks of the one subject let's say for a semester or term or marriage broken up you will not be tested on every minute of every lecture from those 13 weeks you want to be tested for an hour to 3 hours worth of content into such a poor payback on time one hour was a list of that you never really attest on the significant and need to know if you qualification I don't get it to me it seems like it's a game it's set up for the colleges and universities to justify their more of their existence once alignment it is a lot of money and just think about why that's exhibiting the whole idea is against what colleges and universities would want because you know what if they get knowledge didn't sitting there digging their rum exams with the exams are cheaper at someone else you you commoditise to some extent qualification but why not why should there be more competitive why should you cut all that crap let people do their own research figure out what books they want to read Mr will pass the test supplier to get the qualifications what is the rest matter but anyway like you said I wish so please let me know if there are places out ever got that so rice I like to now move onto the next piece of active real-world arm and by that I don't mean to suggest that universities are the real world but seriously think about back to the real world so in my experience with employing people is that it comes back to testing practical ability and is that one-word probation a probationary period so you say I'm gonna give you a trial and the trial period will vary sometimes it's our three months sometimes assists our six months now whatever because what you have to do is your separate that allusion of experience and talent based solely on facts that they convey to you in an interview or an initial impression whatever impression may be ease can't trust that you have to see if they can apply and good signs of experience is watching how they tackle a problem are a methodology are sequenced are doing what they're doing structure all those things are good signs to look for but honestly it takes time and you need to put that effort in and in that probationary period seriously it needs to be targeted on the area that there are being employed to do a miss so many times I have seen this and I've been through this myself where you start working a company there is a week of inductions to 3 weeks of inductions you computer doesn't show up you don't have logins to access network drives you've blamed that the companies were piece away half of your probationary period with BS and then finally gets time to do something and your probationary period is over that's great for the employee to some extent but for the employer really you really haven't put that time the best use I mean I remember of someone who is employed to do drafting and in locate and they had doing filing you will in this probationary period because rebel employee either no it's not only is it in the long run arm because your roles can be a little behind and organised in a seat in the relationship so thank you Steve is very disingenuous and disrespectful of all of the employees like we got you to do something we really Austin your talent in this you're really keen to do this by the way only I have four weeks of filing needs to be doing and arm you're the new guy running how many times has that happened to Saturday yes iconic BS right and thus the water probationary period is for psycho I think that probationary period of vital but then you gotta use them correctly you've got to you and if anything is failing is there is an analogy on the on Twitter on the Internet amid let's say I'm going to follow someone arm that I think might be interesting let's say arm Benedict Evans just pick a name why not and I'm gonna follow him for a month to month three months and I see where or not this guy produces a sort of stuff I'm interested in reading and after the fifth article and I feel like my eyeballs are going to you know go dry arm I may choose not is not for me all that again I might be so excited after that those five articles after a months time two months time three months time but is the best thing in the world and I'm gonna follow him the rest my life now it's kind of the same company is a trial period and end and that all people should do is what it's interesting parallel I think so I think not when it won around the design sharp on a need our amid a really bad hiring once arm and another guy wasn't talented eyes you just use our arm really brilliant photographer and his mind is working for our NBC now actually doing a promotional stuff shows we have no way of making use of his talent and soul and was like making are you just another military arm out our waste in a curtain in it was really eager rates or we like builders can fast-track you into doing this job that you just didn't think very much about whether he was suited for it at a farm at six months later because it is it wasn't working and arm legacy we will not work with our homebuilders the timing is 2007 so that didn't go great and we had to cut back on and it was my fault like an adult has a lot is in is not a reflection of you I blew it and it says what you're talking about like we did night did not evaluate that rate and it sucked absolute without needing we've got your army this is the thing you and I think that's the right the right call in the end is to be honest and say look you know and it sounds like you did the right thing I noticed it's just happens so frequently you know and there's all sorts of legitimate reasons for people to be unable to our engage sometimes the timing really is bad and you just can't give the new's new people the time I need all the attention they need over the oh but it's something that I think people need to be aware of it so that it did try not for it to happen but yet your mind you that wants yeah yeah Donna Joe Grant to me people assistance bad that is not is not a good thanks mostly to go through but you I can forgive myself because I vibrated 90 better arm I should have by the above is me is that you'll see the same kind of thing happen in big companies where maybe that would be means that the King at even do a better job of the should rate please the R should be doing your the bigger they are the bigger company the worse it is not because all these levels of approval and also red tape will be as you go through and it's it's tragically terrible and I think we both been through that some extent a lot of people listening to this will have been through that and yeah it's it's tragically tragic but you in high school I worked on at a health food our market cover high-end arm grocery store and café and and just it's like the counterpoint Wikipedia really good job there about a really good HR team manager is really engaged and less moral and immediately really worked out great arm is eight and one from washing dishes and bussing tables and to jump over the lake during the signage and doing graphic design stuff forum and then by the time I luckily We do score I was running the database for the whole story of the praising arm and they got a good rate quickly got a really good deal and I added pretty awesome jar arm and that was that I was just beginning what me that parcel was my arson bystander Lexi just he really was engaged in that way and not thinking back on our yard she scrubbed Israeli trainer readme recollect what is this what is he capable of what's the right way to go with it and are the same in that that the store that she runs very successful a small chain other store that she doesn't run is constantly being bailed out arm's interim manager and neglect that the ability to engage talent and to gauge to deceive things that aren't readily apparent like that set that that Syracuse analysts and finding people that can do that and being other do-it-yourselfers actually are very difficult I found some people may be comes naturally to them but I've I've had to work about and I'm still not convinced on there so far it's it's hard is very hard so okay arm on the home stretch now so to wrap up a little bit I guess the point I'm driving and is that technical knowledge although yes you can assess it and yes you can present a piece of paper that says yeah I probably know something an elf that will help you hit the ground running sure that in the long-term it's really not that that will that will determine their success and as this is the thing in the long-term it's their desire to learn in their enthusiasm and their drive and for the want of a better word passion and only we talked about this on pulling the string a while ago that to me the passion that someone has for what they are doing what they want to do that matters so much more than just their raw knowledge when they check in the door so you don't need a degree from a college or university to have passion you don't and facts are seen degrees kill passion to be honest I've seen I've seen it and it's it's actually quite soul crushing the watch it happen arm because people get this this place where they think that that they simply can't pursue their dream because they have to do they have to do the degree and work in the environment that that they've that this sort of guided down this path of rather than taking everything that they've learnt with a grain of salt and set okay well here's what I want to do honour pull all these little bits of experience from my degree and on the go and apply them you know rather doing are they best of my arthritis nonobvious to submit to the rest of my life or something you know and that's to me that's that soul crushing to watch that arm over England that to its shock that extends well behind Panama are wheelhouse think document acknowledging that sort of thing arm shall make Jan my wafers are she is an attorney but she also showed she went and got a masters in taxation to restrain accounting for now light the class that she went through in my school be be basically graduated to the worst job market ever for lawyers on the electric contracted the first time and did not and bring much nationwide all the schools were lowering standards and getting bigger classes can't seem really the same thing is happening at the underground level arm except in size from many architects and directors there is no more strictly professional are degreed neural system and in America and an imaginary work and so he set one up with the a ton of that he in light of ongoing continuing education responsibility and are looking at Starbucks and ended and it is bad in late the pointer schools can sit back anything and it is arm as current bands way back to getting more talking about there is a asked realising a lack of like your real ethical consideration of what the schools are doing when there are when they're pushing people out with a piece of paper that doesn't necessarily mean hijab and its cannibal this is a surprise of what is it simply as the fairytale rate pasta fairytales are minutes of photo we tell people be safe you go to uni you work hard you get a degree and you'll get a job you and that's the narrative right then that the people are told so often I I heard it and you and here I am saying this and I got eye I did exactly that so you know hey I guess it works only didn't you pick the good fight I picked a field I loved brands by a mirrorlike you know it injured are always convenient say yes and no butler only honestly sneaking a snow really does sort of Evan flow with major projects before I was building anything not even engineer a did an internship at our laughter and before went to school and went to college and the account is a Dong kind economic going engineering on which I had not over that would have been a much better choice are shifting qualifying as I so want to be a theoretical physicist Nassau icon of nowhere had a massive grin on my face when I got I know that is a listener who is who is a physicist arm rather want to do that in his arm now is working our supercomputer allowed in Chicago but is is a going to grad school and is its is a wholly dysfunctional work environment arm we just think of any any software project you've ever inherited the complete mass exacting bank more causes make a difference there and the aliens and his dog now his messaging me for advice under start a lake how to one look for unless I open source solutions that can solve the actual problems and how because most of those are currently discount structure all the way the place upgrades and working as he/she ends up cobbling together things again because this comes are supplied structure that someone decided as of the system they were going to use our primitive behaviour in our 15 years ago and it stuck arm soul but even that little even if you even if you get that in that dream could still if you don't have what they think a real practical application were where there is a think a direct correlation between you working efficiently and money coming in the door places get really at a lack yes absolutely well arm just like to try and wrap it up now a sort of getting close to time so I guess my message I think the message is you don't need a degree in order to get knowledge considering that Google search or being of Dr K whatever Internet search is able to provide you with all of this knowledge we need to do is go and get it and that's why when I'm looking to employ somebody or am looking to follow people I will follow people that are passionate about what they do and I have a history of doing good work if there is a history if there isn't your take a look of a punt on that one but still keep in mind no one is an expert at everything and stick with the elements of the good at any not anywhere be disappointed I see occasionally this this is our symptom from some managers that have got some people have got where they say are this person is really impressed me about blah therefore the ambiguity really good all this other stuff that I have no idea if they have any knowledge about an experience with and it's just it's such a flawed idea but some people just do that are young so impressed what is one thing therefore they marked they are amazing as McNulty's narrow your focus a bit there great nice focus on the bit that was impressive and that's the bit everything else maybe they are maybe they aren't that's fine just judge them on their merits outweigh all new dogma passionate Roman but done little notes of thinking about my own experience with that and because I think not I was tested well size I was able to ski through any of these kind of gates arm but most of my passion and drive were in things that were directed outside of the prescribed power and that's usually served me well by I think the thing that if you're doing that you looking for passionate looking for drive and look into that dynamism you also have to look back at yourself of it if you make a hiring decision rate I think is real life immediately is the most passionate people cannot be at the bottom of the food chain greatly needs to do managers need to be the seem to express those sent out ideas enter into a role model and await otherwise early though I now like as soon as I get that sense that this other person doesn't care almost immediately I lose I want to and it's gone and it can disappear like that is another unlike super happy about that myself that that it's so easy for someone else to affect how I feel about my work but as the case and you know and have can always are run my own work renumbering up books would result from our business because our Boston karaoke at absolutely and when I say this a modest idolater disregard organisational structures narrated honestly i.e. I totally agree with you and I think that everyone at every level of an organisation that they should have an element of passion and what they do and if they don't then you're going to have a less successful organisation you otherwise could have a motivated organisation has a lot of people are passionate about the same thing and that is the thing that the company stands for and that's what they do and what I say and company names here for anyone that you are not thinking of a specific company quite seriously non-not anyhow so when you give new employees strong focus on a probationary period and give them a chance to prove themselves than that will ensure a better outcome also don't cripple your Internet access forgiveness sake arm is the greatest reference to all in all of human history without a shadow of doubt here and there has never been anything like it you can throw your encyclopedias away you can give up you damn you need textbooks if you had them or any of your notes from anything you've ever had you've got the Internet you've got in your pocket it's unbelievable absolutely unbelievable to Alex Robinson the chat room is that it was a web development company and he runs and up tons of problems with Peters being like being in the category of security to literally his is looking at how to fix problems and he kept finding and select the mouse ridiculous but is so typical as an enemy on the DMZ rate biting is another thing that he needs the joke yet amid running gag it where I work is that I can access Twitter and Facebook through the web I can't believe I cannot sometimes I hit access denied for reasons of you than they give you a list of like a dozen two dozen things and you like on trying to is look up some resistance on some Job thing on installing like arm yellows websites and got the PDSA archive the PDF and we're sure your prototype but I got some advertising online stuff while sometimes accelerated, greater PDF than looking for and note can't colour that so anyway and finally at the point where I'm getting undergo matter on your so it was coming I love manager the care I know you don't care I know okay look a lot about what I'm talking about is how I feel about pragmatic and I only want to cover topics that I passionate about topics that interest me and I thought a lot about it and that's just what I want to do and is is not meant to be this this is not meant to be the learning Channel this is not meant to be arm Johnson tell you how capacitor ghost but gets put together whilst the department finds an interesting really not passionate about how capacitor is constructively so the other nightclub will last of the biology near the time of the hearing is really none of you is because biology right try organising exactly and I just know my psychobiology man and I've really had anyway nevermind that is fine nearly bulges out there through the some other bone I don't know and doesn't really matter my leg works that's all I need to know and see that's terrible action I can say that but I'm still anyway all right so the point is I started out doing this wanted to attend episode run and I was ghosted back and assess where we were in decider was gonna keep going I only had about 88 ideas topic ideas but everything got enough to make 10 and here we are we got and we've done 10 of another dozen mixing now yes another dozen topics for episode I do I'm I'm wearing topics faster than I'm talking about so it turns out what surprises me is just how many things I am actually passionate about I am actually interested in in a mass from a focus on but that the point is I guess of this whole this discussion is that if I ever reach a point where I'm researching a topic I'm not passionate about I don't really care about the nights when I know it's time to to wrap it up and to end that is nowhere in sight disappoints so there is still lots of stuff to talk about and I know that you don't mind in medicine Mrs don't mind but in any case I want every show to have our moral message or something people take away from it some useful one always achieve that but this one still I think the it's important that people understand you and I say important to understand I guess is my point of view obviously way I see the value that other people and I've watched young younger engineers coming to companies and and fail and I see no ones come in from time to time that our diamonds in the rough they are just special yellow and the ones that are special that the common themes I see is that their passion passionate their enthusiastic I'm not interested in working people into the ground but most of the people that are passionate and enthusiastic will do work and research on their own time and you won't ask them to they love what they were given cigarettes you yeah you do invite you it's it's it's 2 o'clock manager have some lunch and I look at Leona mile are well okay sure and it's it's intense but you know what those are the sorts of people that you will work with their the ones that will is not just more fun it's a better result for everybody but it is fun to construe and I've seen some of them are the brightest gifted our engineers I've worked with did not have a university degree and I say I call them engineers engineers from different disciplines and their working and control systems now destroyed at the stroke of luck they had no knowledge walking in and maybe some of the best because I thought they wanted to do so is not about a piece of paper it's about what you want to do and what you care about one is the thing you not so much that these beverages why so many people and up getting into the side door and you see it all the time week in the even in places where you think that there is no way in others nowhere this person ended up in this garb because the and I'll be having gone through the rigmarole but the debt and are well I've reached the end of my notes to wrap it up while you know just going back the pattern being in an doubling down on matter discussion on the eye so we know we have done a lot of of the good feedback to the show and in something when I can end up on coming in the bump when went up on items arm which was discussed wasn't surprised our a bit because I didn't understand why it worked great I want to do the shot makers of the final because by I think it's only minimal in over the past few weeks as we started to get emails and in the thing I see again and again isn't that no John is amazingly knowledgeable and he knows exactly this thing or that what is the repeated is that he is passionate about these subjects that could be dry and the night and that if it was if you said the same things in a monotone and clearly didn't care it wouldn't work but since you do it does and as it and trying for me that's the can always thinking matter about the size from my my jar rate soul I can do a monotone if you want your known employee follow people that are passionate but now can't do that alongside a transcription house and the more but that in Itasca that's when you are smiling you may have too much spare time on your hands made it so okay sure I'm quick because I'm a I'm how my brain is Google well with this transcription thing that's been going on a lot lately arm and I have transcribed a few things in the past not lately I'll admit that it can be a very time-consuming tedious exercise so one Excel document that are that they deny at Riverside found some interesting stuff that looks like it's up your alley because a lot of bass for your transformed the Woolworth 50 is a nice but it's also there is this out from mom while Albert adds no matter that is but it's I just don't is not English are not insured human what do speaking some don't make me cross with your.product is also and that is a terrible terrible joke people get back to Panama I don't I don't know behaviour we traditionally echo the other three through four times a month payment excellence in the yard saw Zach Post Latimer in the chat absolutely I'm surprised our customers is considerable investment of of your personal time to do the transcribing won't know what I'm doing is likely back house. I can keep up it still a lot of times but I am looking but a dramatic as my locker but again I think with some of the main topic arm to wrap allotment if you want to talk more about this you can find John on tracker John state tax distortion outcome once an email consented to giant tax distortion outcome and then Alexander and can reach me on Twitter at the Alexa found the following at pragmatic joint literacy show announcements and other related materials as well as announcements from vitiligo as we had a lot of funds with skin thank you I was on okay before we go as I say thank you to everyone who's been in the live chat room thank you so much it's been fun and we will do this again and some yeah thanks Ken) coordinator you appreciate�
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Ben Alexander

Ben Alexander

Ben created and runs and Fiat Lux

John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.