Why do people stop learning?
Planted October 01, 2020
I love learning. I have always loved learning. I get a buzz when I understand something new or expand my fact balls in some direction or other. I find it hard to believe everyone doesn’t get this buzz but the evidence seems to suggest they don’t.
When I was a teacher, I loved finding out about new research and strategies. I loved trying them out and running small action-research projects. I enjoyed sharing the results of those experiments and helping other teachers and students benefit. Teachers at the start of their careers enjoyed being involved but I noticed as people got more experience and responsibility this desire and focus on learning and professional development often decreased.
Even more than teaching, development requires a state of constant learning and growth. New libraries and languages, improving patterns and ideas - there is a lot to learn.
It seems, though, that after the initial expertise gathering, the desire to learn drops off a cliff. Instead of continuing to be driven by that desire, developers learn enough to fix their current problems but that hunger is seems to go.
I think it is because there is a bigger desire than that of learning. Developers, humans, want to stop being the ones asking the questions and start being those giving the answers.
There is confidence in saying “I don’t know” or “You’ve made me think of something new”. I feel like this isn’t a new thought but I want to make sure that I keep learning, keep asking questions and keep growing.
I’m still a pretty fresh professional developer and I know that those newer to the profession are often those who blog. Not all though. I’d like to be
part of the small group that keep learning as their experience grows and who leave artifacts of learning as it happens.
The main beneficiary of these artifacts is likely to be me but hopefully others are helped along the way.