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InfoQ Homepage Presentations Developing Expertise: Herding Racehorses, Racing Sheep

Developing Expertise: Herding Racehorses, Racing Sheep



In this presentation made during QCon 2007, Dave Thomas talks about expanding people's expertise in their domains of interest by not treating them uniformly as they had the same amount of knowledge and level of experience.


Dave Thomas is a programmer, author, and publisher. With Andy Hunt he runs The Pragmatic Programmers, a consultancy which specializes in improving the lot of developers.

About the conference

QCon is a conference that is organized by the community, for the community.The result is a high quality conference experience where a tremendous amount of attention and investment has gone into having the best content on the most important topics presented by the leaders in our community.QCon is designed with the technical depth and enterprise focus of interest to technical team leads, architects, and project managers.

Recorded at:

Jul 27, 2008

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Community comments

  • Nice..

    by Julian Browne,

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    Worth watching. It bookends well with Dan North's article on InfoQ earlier this year on why the Dreyfus model indicates there's no such thing as "Best Practice". We played this in an office meeting and agreed to try and put some of this into practice.

    Funny too. You often see tech presentations being described as humorous and they rarely are (unless you like lame tech jokes). Dave Thomas though has a good line going in comic effect.

  • Presentation doesn't play through

    by Srivaths Sankaran,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I have tried to view this a couple of times and both times it stopped abruptly after about a few minutes. It stops around the time Dave Thomas is talking about a taking flying lessons and reading a "duffel bag full of books".

    If I try to play again, it starts over from the beginning. And yes, I have tried to drag the progress bar to about where it left off; that doesn't work either.

    I am viewing this page using FF 3.0.1.

    Any suggestions?

  • Re: Presentation doesn't play through

    by Lalit Kale,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I am facing the problem too...same as above mentioned...Could somebody fix this from Infoq team..
    I had also tried on IE 7

  • Great use of an hour for your development.

    by Gishu Pillai,

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    Thank you Dave for showing me a different perspective of looking at it. Although it kind of mirrors the ShuHaRi idea from Alistair Cockburn's books.

    Also for clearly stating things like 'Don't depend on your org to train you' - this is something that most people grasp after losing too much of their 'receptive' life

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