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“I Don’t Know How” Is Not a Valid Excuse

By Steve Pavlina | Published Jul 15 2013 09:48 PM in GameDev.net Soapbox
Peer Reviewed by (Michael Tanczos, jbadams, Gaiiden)

opinion

When you say something like this:


I wish I could write better, but my writing skills aren’t very good.


… many intelligent, self-directed people are actually hearing this:


I wish I could write better, but I’m too lazy and undisciplined to do anything about it. I also have low self-esteem, which prevents me from believing I can correct this deficiency. You should probably avoid me and spend your time with someone more worthy.


As an adult you’re responsible for your own education. If you find it deficient in some area, educate yourself into proficiency.


Many people find their early education lacking when they reach adulthood. No one really knows what knowledge and skills will be important to you later in life. So they guess and they often guess wrong.


My early education was amazing in core subjects like English, math, science, and U.S. and European history. It also did a good job of teaching service to others, self-discipline, and character building. I’m lucky to have attended 12 years of private school, where the standards and quality of instruction were significantly higher than what my public school counterparts experienced. I don’t feel so lucky about all the religious nonsense that was drummed into me, but the secular subjects were taught in top-notch fashion.


As good as it was, my formal education was seriously lacking in other areas like computer programming, psychology, interpersonal communication, public speaking, how to set and achieve goals, how to build courage, and how to build and run a successful business.


Much of the technology I use today didn’t exist when I was in school. The first time I used the Internet was when I started college, and that was in the pre-Web days. I certainly didn’t learn how to make a website or build an Internet business while I was in school.


In order to achieve my goals in life, I had to fill in many gaps in my formal education. This required a disciplined approach to self education. To this day I maintain this same discipline. I regularly identify gaps in my knowledge and skills that could hold me back from achieving my goals. Then I set educational goals to fill in those gaps, and I work step by step to achieve those goals. Usually this involves a combination of reading, connecting with experts and learning from them, and my own experimentation.


Never whine about your lack of skills or your weak education. Never use a lack of know-how as an excuse for not being able to achieve a goal. That’s low class behavior, and it surely won’t help. It’s also a great way to repel successful people from your life. One of my friends refers to such irresponsible loser types as plankton. That’s not a particularly compassionate label, but nor is “I don’t know how” a particularly good reason for failure.


You may feel deficient in some areas. That’s normal. If you feel your schooling didn’t do a very good job, that’s a shame, but it is what it is.


If you don’t know how, learn how. Use that fancy brain that learned how to walk, talk, and read. It’s still capable of further learning, is it not? Of course it is!


If you’re going to get anywhere in life, you must assume 100% responsibility for your ongoing education. Maybe your parents and the school system got you off to a good start. Maybe they didn’t. Whatever happened in that regard, the past is the past. You must now look to the future. Whatever you didn’t learn back then, you can start learning today. A few years from now, you can have the equivalent of a Ph.D in a subject you never studied before. You can master a new language. You can become an expert on a subject in which you’re merely a novice today.


Using “I don’t know how” as an excuse is truly pathetic today. In the information age where you can begin searching for such answers in seconds, this tired excuse only makes you look foolish, lazy, and unworthy of success. Even young children wouldn’t be stopped by such a phony obstacle.


The next time you feel inclined to say “I don’t know how,” say instead, “I’m learning how.” At least have the sense to Google “how to ___.” The information you need to get started is already at your fingertips.


Think about an educational deficiency you’d like to correct, and set a new educational goal right now. What exactly do you wish to learn, and how soon? Then plan out some of the steps you’ll need to take. Identify books to read, courses to take, and experts to talk to. Now get to work and start learning. Start by picking one book, buying it, and reading the first chapter. No more feeble excuses!



GameDev.net Soapbox logo design by Mark "Prinz Eugn" Simpson



About the Author(s)


Former contributing GDnet author and owner/founder of games studio Dexterity Software, which ran successfully for 10 years before Steve decided to blog full time as a personal development coach. You can read more of his work at www.stevepavlina.com




Comments

I agree with the sentiment. It's true in all areas of life, and especially so in software development. I had a similar high school experience. English, history, math, science, and other core subjects were taught well, but the computer and art education was lacking. Thankfully the grounding in math and logic made me able to catch up quickly when I started a computer science degree in college. A great deal of self education was necessary, too, and it continues to be required even now that I'm working full time in the software industry. 

 

I think the "religious nonsense" comment is out of place here, though. It doesn't contribute to the topic, and it can potentially alienate readers. The rest of the article was good stuff, though. 

1. "I don’t feel so lucky about all the religious nonsense that was drummed into me, but the secular subjects were taught in top-notch fashion." This is pretty out of place for this an article. Stay focused on the subject at hand!

 

2. "Using 'I don’t know how' as an excuse is truly pathetic today." I understand what you're trying to say, but I'd argue that "I don't know how" isn't necessarily pathetic. I think the wording should be changed to make it clear that what you want readers to walk away with his "I don't know how... yet. But I will learn how." That's the message you want them to walk away with, and I feel like it's struggling to get out with the current wording.

When you think something like this:

 

I have written an article on gamedev

 

Many intelligent people hear this :

 

I am not proficient in anything which is programming related but i want to write an article for the crossbone group, so i can enhance the probability to get laid.

It is a bit like saying: "Are you afraid of heights? Stop being afraid then. See how easy that is?"

 

"If you want to know something, you should learn it" should have been the message of the article, which is kinda as useless as the fear statement. Anybody who reacts to your appeal is not somebody who has trouble with learning something in the first place. So what is the point?

 

But here is where I really think you misstepped, the actual message of your article is more like: "If you are bad at something, you should learn to be better at it, or you are an irresponsible loser type of a human being!", the first sentence that comes to my mind is: "And fuck you too".

 

This article serves nothing to the people you are actually talking about. You are nauseatingly harsh against a group of people you are not fond of ("...such irresponsible loser types...") while you are over glorifying yourself ("… many intelligent, self-directed people are actually hearing this...").

 

In short: This article in this form teaches nobody, serves nobody except your ego. Please drop and rewrite.

I think the "religious nonsense" comment is out of place here, though. It doesn't contribute to the topic, and it can potentially alienate readers. The rest of the article was good stuff, though. 

 

It's the universal right to have a free opinion. It is as part of a example of the person education endured. And a filter of what the person think had value for reaching goals.

 It's the universal right to have a free opinion. It is as part of a example of the person education endured. And a filter of what the person think had value for reaching goals.

It's fine to have an opinion, but it's not tied into the article at all. It's just there. It's not relevant. Sure, religion may have been tied to Steve's education, but it's awkwardly sticking out in the article and detracting from the overall focus and message.

 

I'd be saying the same thing if it had said "I don't feel so lucky about all the Pokemon nonsense..." Irrelevant is irrelevant. A well written article needs focus and flow and expression.

 

Also, I agree with what Bluefirehawk said. Calling someone a loser, directly or indirectly, and whether they are one or not, is not going to motivate them. This is written like a ranting blog post, not a professional article.

I have to agree with Cornstalks and Bluefirehawk, to me this article boils down to "get to work" and is not very helpful. It tries to be inspiring and motivational, but doesn't come across that way at all. In addition, when someone is struggling with issues such as time management, learning difficulties, and so on, the last thing they need to hear is "you're just lazy, stop making excuses".

Honestly though as a school teacher I can tell you that the generation of students coming through is so prone to giving up quickly if they can't immediately answer a question or find it on google.   Being persistent and stubborn enough to solve hard problems is a skill in and of itself.

 

I think some people don't accept that the amount of time it takes to solve a problem is an unknown quantity. The real problem comes when you start making excuses.   If you have time management problems, then learn more about time management techniques.   If you have learning difficulties then this is where you get to test the limits of your own capabilities.   Are you giving up and taking the easy way out with an excuse or have you really done all the legwork you can and literally aren't capable of doing it?

 

The message here is pretty spot on even if it seems harsh.   It's not a "fuck you" if you don't know it.. it's a message that addresses the idea that people (especially students from my considerable real life evidence) are prone to develop a rationale for why it's okay to fail rather than putting in what is really necessary for them to succeed.

I understand what the article is trying to say, but I feel like its attempted message isn't being well expressed. If the message were properly and elegantly conveyed, I think this could be great.

 

*snip*

I'd respond with: not everyone should learn everything. For heaven's sake, you can't seriously expect me to learn everything. It's okay to say "I don't know how" with some things. Not knowing how to do something (on a beginner's level) isn't necessarily a sign of laziness. It's often a sign of disinterest. It's okay to be disinterested in some things. I would love to know how to play piano. But I don't know how. And I'm okay with that. Why? Because there are only 24 hours in a day, and I fill them with plenty of things other than music theory, because music theory bores me. I don't whine or complain about not knowing how to play piano. But I don't know how. Does that make me lazy? Does that make me a "plankton"? Does that make me an "irresponsible loser"? F*** no it doesn't. I'd rather work my butt off coding and developing software and businesses, casually playing guitar, going to the gym, being social with friends, being active in my church and local communities, etc.

 

This article doesn't differentiate well between "I don't know how" as a valid response and "I don't know how" as a lazy excuse (because yes, some people do use it as a lazy excuse, but not everyone). That's an incredibly important differentiation to make.

 

Furthermore, it does nothing to help those who are saying "I don't know how" as a lazy excuse. Saying "get to work and learn how!" might snap some people into gear, but if this article is to be meaningful to any kind of audience, it also needs to consider people who are disinterested in a subject they are lazily pursuing and maybe don't realize it. Maybe someone should stop pursuing their chosen subject because they don't like it (and may not even realize how much they don't like it). Typically, if someone is sincerely interested in something, they'll put time into learning about it. If someone isn't putting time into learning something, I'd ask them first and foremost if they even care to learn about it. Are they interested. Do they want to put forth time, effort, and potentially money in pursuing it.

 

A lot of the people I've met who use "I don't know how" as a lazy excuse either feel "stuck in the system" (i.e. taking a required class they have no interest in, or being in a program that offers some future stability that they'd like to get out of and do something else, but they have no bloody clue what else to do so they stick with it rather than risk their future stability) or they feel like a particular task or subject is mundane and "I don't know how" is a way for them to avoid the boring monotony (whereas it might be something that is exciting to you or I).

 

Seriously, there is so much that could be said about this subject, and this article just doesn't say it. It focuses on one little aspect and comes across as a rant rather than offering anything meaningful that I can walk away with.

After reading the article prior to the comments, I agree in general that this is lacking in focus and general usability.  But, I think that the amount of feedback is a positive sign for the author and this article.  The problem is how to refine the message.  This article should focus on the negative side of "I don't know" yet present the good reasons you should be honest and say "I don't know", which should be post-fixed with *YET*.

 

In general, the article needs work but if it didn't hit a note with folks we wouldn't be commenting on it. :)

The message here is pretty spot on even if it seems harsh.   It's not a "fuck you" if you don't know it.. it's a message that addresses the idea that people (especially students from my considerable real life evidence) are prone to develop a rationale for why it's okay to fail rather than putting in what is really necessary for them to succeed.

 

The problem, I think, is not that the tone is insulting per se, but that it is more self-laudatory than actually helpful. The sense is that when he says "… many intelligent, self-directed people are actually hearing this," he's not really talking about intelligent, self-directed people, he's talking about himself.

And from that point forward, it's just sort of a vague series of "your lack of success comes from not being responsible, like I am" things that feel less like someone guiding you into success and more like someone trying to justify their own success with a fairly limited degree of introspection.
 

It's possible to write an article like this, but it needs specificity and introspection and less "stop blaming yourself and be me, because I'm great." It's not even, I think, that the author really thinks he's better than the readers; in fact, it seems like he's not quite secure enough to be entirely open about what he thinks he's done.

I think an example of how to do this thing in a way that I find much more helpful is this speech by Neil Gaiman. The things that jump out at me are that he actually takes you on a journey with him. You don't get the sense that he's desperately trying to convince the audience that they should want to imitate him; he's just sharing some of his story, and the audience listens, because they like him. Neither is he falsely humble or uncomfortably self-deprecating; he just knows he's good and he's not uncomfortable sharing some of the details, good and bad, and how he got there.

He says a lot of the same things as this article, in fact: you'll fail, and you'll need to keep going. But you don't feel threatened, because you don't get the sense that Mr. Gaiman feels threatened by the audience.

The message here is pretty spot on even if it seems harsh.   It's not a "fuck you" if you don't know it.. it's a message that addresses the idea that people (especially students from my considerable real life evidence) are prone to develop a rationale for why it's okay to fail rather than putting in what is really necessary for them to succeed.

I am a student myself, I agree that a mental boot in the ass is what many students need (again, those are not the people who have trouble with learning). But this article won't cut it, any article can not really give the boot somebody would need. A speech written by a Drill Sergeant won't have the effect when you have to read it. I am starting to repeat myself; what is the point reading this article?

 

On the other hand, many Educators think that it is MAINLY the boot people need, if the boot fails, you just haven't given enough boot! Which is completely and utterly wrong. 

For example, I am currently in in the top 10% of my year, but I had particularly problem with a weirdly easy course. I got a bad exam back. So I learned harder, which went well because I was worse than before. So I learned harder with the reward of an even worse grade, while everybody else did less and was far more successful than me. Now THAT is demotivating and it was only one course. No matter how big your boot is, it won't help.

 

If you are training for something and you get rewarded with success is the easiest thing to deal with. But to be REALLY successful in life you have to cope with setbacks, how to deal with it when EVERYBODY flies past you with minimum effort, while you are struggling and making no progress whatsoever. No matter how hard you try.

 

THAT would be an article worth reading, hell it would be an article worth writing. But not this text.

 

This is the reason why I decided it was appropriate to write "And fuck you too". Because in the whole article he said "I had problems, I trained, I succeeded. See how easy it is?" . Nice that you were so lucky in your life, now take your metal and get out. This is not the reason why people are afraid of learning something, this is not the reason why people have low self-esteem. This is not what it takes to get out of this spiral. Again, it serves noone except his ego and maybe makes those feel superior who don't have a problem. It is the most disgusting, self-profiling piece of text I have read that didn't come out of the dark corners of the internet. And that is the nicest words I have found, if you message me, I will call it differently.

(...)

In general, the article needs work but if it didn't hit a note with folks we wouldn't be commenting on it. smile.png

This seems pretty much spot-on to me. The message is valid, and I think "The next time you feel inclined to say “I don’t know how,” say instead, 'I’m learning how'" is probably the high point of the article.

As it stands, though, it still just needs a bit of a shift in tone (so that people will get on board with it rather than wanting to rage against it) and a bit more depth of advice.

 

In short, the fact that people may need to realize "I'm not working hard enough, and I wasn't even aware that I'm not working hard enough" doesn't mean that the only way to get them to that realization is to say "you're not working hard enough, and you need me to tell you this because you couldn't even figure out that you're not working hard enough."

And that, my friends, is why this is a soapbox article.  =)

 

I think the difference between a professional and amateur is persistence and attention to detail.   Even professionals will encounter things they don't know, but the way they tackle those types of issues could serve well for amateurs.

 

One of the biggest things getting a CS degree taught me was the idea that it was okay not to know things, but IF you want to become adept at them you need to put in the time to understand and master them.   Sometimes it takes a lot of time and energy not to solve a problem, but to go about even understanding the problem.

 

I'm not a physics guy.. but if you aren't either I'm sure we could invent some type of problem for you to solve in that area that is fairly sophisticated.   You have two choices.. either complain that you don't know physics enough to solve the problem, or get to spending the time it takes to understand what the problem is asking.. knowing full well you aren't even at the point where you can attempt to solve the problem.

 

I think this article is largely geared at those who give up on themselves and make excuses for things they *want* to do.

"That’s low class behavior, and it surely won’t help."

 

I agree with "the get out and learn some more" message, but

 

  • Perhaps the author of this article would care to explain what "low class" means here?

 

  • Also this article seems more like a huge rant...

I agree with the general sentiment, that ignorance is a poor excuse when a person should be willing to learn - I agree with the other comments that the way this is expressed in the article seems less than perfect.

Just an observation: I've noticed, particularly in my working life, that a colleague saying "I don't know how" when they actually don't know how to do something is pretty crucial for managing or resourcing an activity and for the eventual success of the activity - it's pretty much assumed that they are willing to learn how, but not reporting that there's a knowledge or skill gap has been shown to be rather dangerous with regard to increasing the risk of a task not being completed correctly or on time. It also doesn't allow a team to assign the same activity to a different person that does know, to assist the original person in learning what they need to know or to simply allow for the extra time they will require to learn by themselves. Also, I've seen engineers bash their heads against brick walls for days trying to learn alone when a 5 minute conversation or forum post could have got them going again for very little cost to whoever helps them.

I think this article is largely geared at those who give up on themselves and make excuses for things they *want* to do.

 

I think the question, then, is exactly whether this article will positively impact that group of people, and, whether it does or not, if it could be made to achieve that end more effectively than it does in its current form.

 

I think the self-aggrandizing tone that I and others perceived, while probably not intentional, could prime readers to be less receptive to the overall message.

 

I also think that the generality of the advice itself makes it less easy for someone to actually apply: people are better able to do something if they know exactly how it's done. Indeed, I think the fact that the very symptom being addressed is a failure to learn effectively (for whatever reason) makes it all the more important that the article go beyond simply saying "get to work and start learning" and actually help the reader to start doing so in a meaningful way. A person who fails to learn will also have trouble learning how to learn.

I think almost everyone agrees on what problem the article aims to address, and I think most people think it's an important problem to address as well. But what does this article do to solve this problem beyond what, say, the post you just made does?

I'll say this again in case I didn't say it well the first time: I think the article's intended message can be great, but in its current form, it needs a lot more work for it to be effective.

 

That is all.

I kind of agree with the author. A person can work hard enough to get decent at something that they're not naturally talented at. However, no matter how hard a high school basketball player works he'll never be as good as LeBron James unless he has natural talent too. I'm not a great writer, that doesn't mean I haven't worked hard at it, I just don't see words the same way I do code. Maybe it's because I don't enjoy writing as much as I do programming. Maybe the "natural talent" is that you work hard at something because you enjoy it. I don't know.

 

At the end of it though, "I don't know how" is a huge hurdle to overcome and one I've struggled with as I'm trying to program games. But, slowly it's turning into a "I don't know how... yet" and I'm learning every step of the way.

Sometimes getting started on a path of learning is a matter of not knowing how to even begin getting started.

 

I knew I wanted to make game worlds since a very young age (probably when I was 10 years old or so), but I didn't get started on it until 15! I tried to try to get started, I bought "RPG Maker" for the Playstation 1, and spent hundreds of hours on it. It didn't really teach me much - it was the wrong start. But I had no clue how to really start (and no idea how to research how to start - I wasn't very internet-savvy either. I thought the entire internet was just where you play flash games).

 

It was only one day when a family friend was over at the house for a bible study: I was playing some top-down shooter game, that the person commented offhand, "I've made a game like that". I literally spun around in my chair and demanded an explanation, so he told me to try to read the Halflife 1 "source code"  - a cryptic term, and not very helpful because I didn't know what sourcecode looked like and so couldn't find the source code in my installed copy of Halflife 1. He told me you can edit source code in notepad, and that I should just try to see how much I understand just by reading it, and maybe change things here and there to see the results. So I tried opening up all kinds of weirdly named DLLs and art assets and executables in notepad, and thought that "source code" was the gibberish symbols that notepad was displaying from opening up binary files. But hey, at least I tried editing the DLLs in notepad and making tiny changes to "see the results". The results, needless to say, was a broken HL install and zero growth in knowledge. =)

 

But! He also told me to try to search the internet for "game development" (how I found this site), and recommended C++. That was what I needed. The "do this to actually start to start". From there, I read GameDev alot, asked questions, my dad bought me two books, and I've kept at it (on and off) for almost eight years this month.

 

Not all lack of work is laziness - sometimes it's not even having a grid for what you are wanting to learn, and so not knowing how to begin. Until I knew what to even research "programming", "development", "C++", "source code", I was going about it entirely the wrong way. I used to think videogames were movies where buttons on a controller navigated some huge huge array of hand-drawn screens. I remember thinking heavily about the problem, and wondering how they could possibly have done that much artwork, and how long it takes, and other problems with it. Without knowing about something called "programming", it was almost impossible for me to advance any further, because I was trying to advance further, but in dead-ends (RPG Maker).

 

If you tell someone, "You want to get to China? Then why are you sitting there like a moron! Just start walking!", they might take your advice... and walk in the wrong direction.

Just because you have walked somewhere and happened to get there, doesn't mean everyone else should spin around three times and set off walking.

You are trying to tell others to, 'just learn self-discipline'. Except, your own self-discipline was taught you over 12 years by others.

 

For myself, self-discipline is a constant war that I have to wage, where sometimes I'm losing and getting lazy, other times I'm winning and being productive, but it's not a one-time, "Oh, I guess I will be victorious" decision for me.

 

I think this article is largely geared at those who give up on themselves and make excuses for things they *want* to do.

 

I think the question, then, is exactly whether this article will positively impact that group of people, and, whether it does or not, if it could be made to achieve that end more effectively than it does in its current form.


 

Through life experience I have found that if you try to coddle people they will never reflect.

 

If you say to a person "You are pathetic because you are not doing what you want to do." even if they get angry I have found, generally, that they are the only ones who come back later and say "your words really got to me, but because of that I could change, thank you."

 

If they didn't take anything you say to heart, what reason would they have to be angry? When I try to be nice and assure people they can learn something they say they really want to, all I ever receive is excuses. "Oh you know I gotta buy eggs so I can't learn Latin, and it turns out that buying eggs once is just so much work that there's no way I can fit this whole Latin thing in but I want to know Latin really bad!"

 

People just pile on excuse after excuse after excuse. If you are nice to them you are only justifying the excuses. The truth hurts, but you will build better stronger relationships sometimes if you embrace it and don't try to be Mr. Rogers when you are trying to speak with some authority.

This is a gross approximation : "I don't know how to do this" is not necessarily laziness, it can be humility. But maybe this is about culture ? Socrates was not lazy when he said "I know one thing : I know nothing"

 

I don't think this article can help anybody.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying "I don't know".

In fact, it's the only thing one ever knows, as Plato explained in great detail.

 

From any co-worker i'd rather hear "I don't know", rather than some half-assed, or to use your word "feeble" excuse. The whole Article seems well-meant, but comes across as jovial and arrogant.

 

Not good advice. I strongly object to the contents of this article.

If they didn't take anything you say to heart, what reason would they have to be angry?

 

I think that this is a pretty gross oversimplification. It's easy to make someone angry, and it's a heck of a lot easier to make someone angry than it is to actually take the time to give them real, useful advice.

 

Anyone can say, in your words, "you are pathetic because you are not doing what you want to do." Maybe you really do know a lot of people who genuinely need you to tell them this, but I think for most people, this is just a generic statement that can be said by anyone to anyone.

 

You're right that coddling people and telling them "you can do it!" isn't helpful, but I think at least part of the reason it isn't helpful is because it's a platitude without any specificity or content. I think "you're not succeeding because you're not working hard enough!" suffers from a similar problem.
 

The question is, as I've said, not whether people should be taking this sort of criticism to heart; they should. The question is whether the criticism, in the form of this article, by this person, is the best way to make this point.

I'll ask the same thing I asked Michael Tanczos: what does this article offer that your post (the one to which I am currently replying) doesn't? They both have the same message, and, while I don't fully agree with everything you said, you seem to do a better job justifying the message than the article itself.

I have to agree a lot with this article.  Personally in my professional life I am constantly asked to perform tasks that I have no clue how to approach.  The reason I am in a supervisory position and on the board of directors in my company is because I live by the underlying message of this article.  I consider myself a loser and a failure if I do not accomplish something simply because I don't have the knowledge to do it.

 

It seems that many people are taking the most offense to this article from the seemingly insulting nature of the words and sentences that are used.  However I think it's an ideal lost in the politically correct world in which we live.  From experience, when I look to hire new employees or when I am present through interviews for other departments I am VERY quick to disqualify someone from the potential position at the first use of "I can't do ___" or "I don't do ___".  As harsh as it might sound those two statements alone will cost you a job at my company.

 

So from what I take away from this article is that a politically incorrect message is given to shed some light on the truths of the larger business "professional" world.  let's pretend a bit and put on our hiring hat, lets assume we are hiring a new "professional" for our company and monetary compensation is not an issue.  We are looking for someone to come in and fill a position that we are lacking.  Now some examples.

 

We are looking for an artist:

 

- Artist A:

   I do logo and splash page / screen design with light concept artwork.  I can not (or do not) do character design and or animation.

 

- Artist B:

   I do logo and splash page / screen design with light concept artwork.  I am not very experienced in character design and or animation but I am willing studying and learning how to do it.

 

(Who do you want to hire?)

 

We are looking for a programmer:

 

- Programmer A:

    I do C++ programming, I can not (or do not) know how to use LUA or C# for scripting.

 

- Programmer B:

    I do C++ Programming, I am not very experienced in LUA or C# but I am working through some resources and learning how to do it.

 

(Who do you want to hire?)

 

In both of these answers most (if not all) potential hiring executives will choose B, because they are versatile and seemingly have more potential to grow as needed.  They are not portraying a defeatist attitude they are admitting where they may be lacking and showing drive to improve themselves.  These are the types of people we want to hire.  Simply put the people that have the talents in these areas are quite expensive to employ in the first place.  Now when I have to hire 2 - 3 people for the same position because each of them is self defeating themselves and refusing to better themselves...  Well that's just an outrageous request is it not?  Expecting me to pay out 3 times as much of my companies hard earned money because potential employees refuse to take it upon themselves to get better?

 

So long story short, I am a hiring executive at my day job.  I own two small business on the side that I share with others.  I am looking to hire people at all three businesses, and who am I looking for?  Person B, the one that I hire for a particular field and can trust that they will know or will learn how to accomplish the tasks I present them with.  No excuses, minimal failures and lost time.  No I am not going to hold your hand and find you the resources and courses you need.  That is part of your job description.  No I will not tell you in your interview that I believe you to be worthless because you gave me the excuse that you just don't know how or can't do something.  But I will be thinking it, and that's what this article (at least in my opinion) is trying to present to the public.


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