A few reasons why you should never stop asking questions…

There’s always room to grow

As a developer, I’ve always taken the opportunity to absorb information from those who know more about particular subjects than I. Ultimately, no one knows everything and to think that one’s entire knowledge base can come from first hand experiences is absurd. Collaboration and the exchange of ideas is, in my opinion, what makes or breaks a development team.

In the 1980s, the Sam Walton was arrested after crawling around in stores on his hands and knees. When Walton’s friends came to bail him out, he told them he’d been measuring aisle widths to determine exactly how they displayed their wares. If Sam Walton, the founder of the largest retailer in the world was willing to go to that length to learn from others then what’s your excuse?

Most things are highly opinionated

…Especially in software. Most things published to the internet are cat pictures and highly opinionated rants. Unfortunately, most people don’t question the source or reasoning behind such information. When researching a new technology or concept, the first thing read immediately becomes cold hard fact. Once it’s read, it must be true.

I fell into this trap last week where I read that JavaScript was multi-threaded when used with node.js. This, of course, is not true. After pondering on the idea for a while, I realized that the information that I had read didn’t add up. After having a discussion with co-workers, doing further research, and trying it on my own I had a more in depth understanding of it. Had I not have thought for myself, I would still be carrying incorrect knowledge, spreading misinformation to all who were also as ignorant of the topic as I.


There are no dumb questions

There seems to be this idea that asking questions is only for the junior developer or “one who needs guidance”. I mean, a “senior” developer would never be caught asking “THAT” question, right!?

Asking questions helps the development team grow together. Chances are you’re not the only person that has the question (and if you are, so what?). There are too many frameworks, libraries, tools, concepts, design patterns…etc in the software development scene, that a single developer simply can not keep up with every single one of them. That being said, even if they could, they certainly would not be an expert at them.

Collaboration between developers is healthy. More info why it’s important:

Socratic Method

Sharpen thy bullshit detector

…Unless they have a reputable backing of followers or have a track record of typically being a reliable source. Just as asking questions is a natural function of being human, reading an introductory article online doesn’t make someone an expert. Going through a 5 minute interactive tutorial does not constitute knowing the in’s and out’s of every details. Eliminate people with such claims from your trusted sources. Also, upgrade your BS detector.

In business and technology, jargon and obfuscation hide huge quantities of BS. Inflated language is a technique of intimidation. The bet is that if you don’t understand what they’re talking about, you’ll feel stupid, or distracted, and give in to the appearance of their superior knowledge. This is, of course, entirely bullshit. To withstand BS you have to have an inner core of self-reliance, holding on to your doubts longer than the BS’er holds onto their charade. - Scott Berkun