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Open-source Life.

When I train people, at work or anywhere else, I explain to them that I’ll give them everything I have. If I don’t teach it to them it’s not because I’m holding it back. They aren’t ready for it yet, or I didn’t know they needed it.

I’m a machinist by trade and in my trade there is a lot of tribal knowledge. Machinists tend to keep secrets and not share. That makes them valuable in and limited fashion. They may be able to do many things very well, but they teach or train others grudgingly at best, and in some situations they simply leave the trainee in the dark.

It’s left a huge gap in our ranks and made the trade’s overall knowledge base decline as the skilled manual machinists die off. Machinists tend to last longer. The arc from start to retirement tends to be longer also. Most trades retire at 50 or 60. Machinists can work well into their 80’s if they want to. That is a massive amount of knowledge to be lost.

It’s a shame really. Instead of sharing those skills and the techniques they’ve learned they just let them die with them. The legacy of being a stingy old bastard isn’t one any of want. Sure we can say he or she really knew their stuff. But that’s it. There’s no “And look what they taught me!” At the end of that.

One of my core values is to lift others up to where I am. I’ve never seen how standing on someone else’s neck elevates us. It bolsters another core value of leaving everyone, and everything better than I found it.

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About Dan

Problems are puzzels, and I love solving puzzels.

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