What is Expertise?

Yesterday I was out mowing the lawn when my daughter came out of the house with a poopy diaper in a bag. She tried to save herself from having to step off of the concrete one step by throwing the bag over the fence at the garbage cans. In doing so, she over shot the can and then had to go even further, through the gate, to pick up the bag and finally put it in the trash.

Watching her, I wondered to myself - is this what the difference between novice and expert looks like? She thought that she was going to be saving herself some time - in the end it actually cost her more.

Is true expertise really just the knowledge of how to save the most amount of time? To do things with the least amount of effort? After all, the best programmers and inventors are the lazy ones. You want the ones who do something twice and go, "Ugh! This is so annoying! Let's never do this again!"

Especially if they know that they're going to have to continue doing it.

Maybe to be an expert it just means that you know what will really take more time, and what's truly the shortest path.

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