In 1990 I was a noob gardener. I had a new house that lacked flowers and vegetables. So I bought an assortment of books on gardening. I designed a flower garden, put in basic landscaping, and made a vegetable garden. My expert advice at that time came from a local farmer, Archie, who loved to come and visit.
I moved from that house in 1999 and outsourced the gardening for the next 9 years. This was do the fact that I had had three kids between 1994 and 1999 so my leisure time was spent collapsing in a chair. These days, my kids seem to only need me on allowance day or when they need a ride.
This year I moved into a house with very mature gardens and I’ve rediscovered my love of gardening. I am continually amazed at what’s popping up and blooming. I dusted off my old books to see if I could identify what to leave and what to pull. Weed or perennial? Gee, I wish Archie was here.
Wait! I’ve got 100 Archie’s because, in addition to books, I joined an online social network for gardener’s and subscribed to a bunch of gardening blogs. I am amazed at how rich the experience is. I am learning more now than I did then (but I do miss Archie horribly).
Rather than looking at pictures to try to determine if something is a weed, I can just upload a picture and ask. And, I’ll never get a yes/no. I’ll get stuff about pruning, bugs to watch for, whether to mulch, etc.
I can now imagine what it must feel like to be a new learning professional, reentering the field after a long hiatus, transitioning from an environment that was mostly traditional ILT, or bringing work in-house that was formerly outsourced.
This feeling is nothing new though. Everyone reading this probably has a similar story. Some people might even think the original Noob + Archie was the best model.
For me, this was just a moment of reflection at 5 AM (the time I weed, before anyone needs money or a ride) and a reminder to be patient with those that are just now getting up-to-speed on the state of learning today. I think each of us has a responsibility to provide noobs with a safe way to ask a simple question and get up to speed.