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  12. <title>Big surprise! That guy who made a third of his company quit has no idea what he's talking about. (archive) — David Larlet</title>
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  59. <h1>Big surprise! That guy who made a third of his company quit has no idea what he's talking about.</h1>
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  70. <p>Last week, DHH, one of the cofounders of Basecamp, tweeted:</p>
  71. <blockquote>
  72. <p>You can’t become the I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING dog as a professional identity. Don’t embrace being a copy-pasta programmer whose chief skill is looking up shit on the internet.</p>
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  74. <p>DHH, as you may remember, is famous for <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/3/22418208/basecamp-all-hands-meeting-employee-resignations-buyouts-implosion">causing about one-third of his entire company to quit at once</a> because <em>his</em> professional identity is “never admit you’re wrong.”</p>
  75. <p>So I guess that spicy take is very on-brand and expected. It’s also stunningly wrong.</p>
  76. <p>Here’s the thing: I have never actually seen anyone say, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” and literally mean <em>I have no idea what I’m doing</em>.</p>
  77. <p>I have seen a lot of very senior people be very open and candid about the fact that they don’t know everything, that fucking up is a regular part of learning new things, and that knowing how to research things is a critical skill for developers to have.</p>
  78. <p>And sometimes they describe that as, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” in a very glib, tongue-in-cheek kind of way. Someone as smart as DHH thinks he is should be able to understand that intent.</p>
  79. <p>Because here’s the thing: you will <em>never</em> know everything. You will never remember all of the little details of every specific thing you have to know for your job. Brains suck. They’re fallible.</p>
  80. <p>But knowing how to research, how to look things up? Knowing how to parse good information from junk, and make effective decisions based on what you’ve learned? That’s a <em>critical skill</em> for modern developers.</p>
  81. <p>That’s not “copy-pasta.” That’s being good at your job.</p>
  82. <p>If you know how to do that, then when <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2021/5/3/22418208/basecamp-all-hands-meeting-employee-resignations-buyouts-implosion">one of the founders of the company you work at handles racism badly and refuses to admit they fucked up</a>, you can quit and find work elsewhere, like a third of DHH’s employees did.</p>
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