Incompetence Considered Harmful

A research paper from two psychologists at Cornell offers an interesting insight:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at:

until these developers’ skills are bootstrapped to a moderate level

Adapting this thought to writing, I wonder whether this is always, or even often, possible. I’ve worked with some pretty terrible writers who nonetheless had managed to get writing positions, and one of the most disheartening aspects was that they never got any better. And I suppose by definition – hence your post – they could never see their own awfulness as writers.

Yes, there’s a depressing implication: some people will never be good at what they’re trying to do. In other words, the guys or gals writing Daily WTF code samples don’t need to be trained to be better-- they need to be trained in order to recognize that they should probably find a new line of work.

I guess this is where good management comes in, as they should be A) able to recognize people who aren’t performing and B) have the power to do something about it (either education or dismissal).

I think that’s why Alex P. refuses to post code on a href="" from students, since they are clearly educating themselves. Real WTFs are from “professional” programmers who got paid to write that stuff!

“Perhaps the best illustration of this tendency is the “above-average effect,” or the tendency of the average person to believe he or she is above average, a result that defies the logic of descriptive statistics.”

The result of descriptive statistics shows that the amount of people that think they’re above average, is above average?