Of late, I have realized that I am not that well read about technology as my colleague. He is a junior to me, still he knows a lot about stuff that I don’t. I started wondering why this is so. I thought may be his college was better and he actually learnt all this when he was a student. The moment this thought came to my mind, I knew it can’t be. No engineering college in India can teach you about Processing or OpenGL, right! As I interrogated myself more, I could pin point to one small thing which created this huge knowledge gap between me and my smart colleague. It’s one sentence actually, “It’s not my field.”
Whenever I came across something ‘new’, I would relate that to the work I was currently doing and I would either read it further or discard it saying “It’s not my field.” More often than not, it was the latter. This Not-my-field attitude is quite well summed up by the joke
Q: How many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Because they will say “It’s not a software problem. It’s a hardware problem”.
No, I did not make that up, but the stark reality hit me after I heard this joke. Damn it, I am one of them.
As I peeked into my habits further more, I realized it’s not limited to just technology or my profession. I do this all the time. I am reading the newspaper and I spot a news about the President of China visiting India. A thought runs across my mind: “How does it matter to me? It doesn’t? Then skip the news.” I spend 15 minutes reading the newspaper. 7 minutes are spent reading the supplement and 2 minutes in comics. By the end of it, I am no more knowledgeable or aware than I was 15 minutes back.
This astounding discovery has depressed me so much that I have started to regret all these years which I have spent with this I-don’t-know-and-I-don’t-care attitude. If only I could reverse the earth and get back all those precious moments. Better late than never. I could have continued like this if not for that colleague of mine. Right? Thanks, buddy. You don’t know how much of a help that was.