I wasn’t sure if “Share What You Learn” would be applicable at my current level of experience for exactly the reason the writers give for why apprentices might have doubts about the pattern: I assumed this sort of thing should be left to people who know exactly what they’re doing. They brought up points I hadn’t considered in response to this. An apprentice’s minimal knowledge will make their explanations short and to the point, and they won’t make the mistake of assuming the people they’re sharing with have prior knowledge that they don’t. This makes their explanations, in some ways, more useful to other apprentices than an explanation from a journeyman or master.

The benefit to the apprentice sharing what they’ve learned is something I acknowledged in my blog on “Record What You Learn”: the best way you can learn something yourself is to teach it to someone else. The writers mention this benefit, but they also warn of several ways that applying this pattern can end up doing more harm than good which I hadn’t considered. Sharing your knowledge might get you into legal trouble if what you’re sharing is a trade secret, or sharing particular information may actually be harmful to others. You should be careful about what you choose to teach others, and if no one else seems to have explained it, you should consider why. Other concerns include that people might feel as though you’re bragging or explaining concepts in condescending ways if you’re not sharing with humility, or they might assume you have an ulterior motive. Conversely, the writers assert that it’s selfish to seek ways to better your own learning and not consider how others could benefit if you were to share what you know.

They suggest developing a habit of applying this pattern early on, but I still don’t feel like I’m ready to offer anything substantial. If in the near future I learn something I identify as significant enough to record it, I will remember to apply this pattern as well and write an introduction to the topic that others might find useful.

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