The Expert Who Knew Too Little

In the last few days, I’ve run across a couple of articles that discuss being an expert. The first one mentions the Dunning-Kruger effect and contains the summary quote:

You don’t even know enough to realize just how little you know.

The other one discusses the different types of feedback or reinforcement between novices and experts.

In wanting to become an expert myself, though, I know that I have a lot to learn, but do I know how much? And I like positive reinforcement, but who doesn’t? And if I’m generally working with people less expert than myself, then I’m already the expert. And if I’m not the expert, how do I know if the advice I’m getting is expert quality and not just from someone as novice as me?

All rhetorical questions, really. My solution to all of these is just to keep plugging away and ask questions when I need help. I also read a lot to keep abreast of new terminology and make sure to understand the terminology reasonably well. Short of going to school or seeking out a mentor, I think it’s a pretty good plan.