A Little Learning

"I know just enough to be dangerous."

What a peculiar phrase. I most often hear this colloquialism used in a self-deprecating manor for folks that know enough to talk about a topic at a party, but not enough to make a career out of it. But the meat of the idea comes from people who know a little about a subject and use that tidbit to plunge recklessly into a situation that requires deeper understanding. Maybe you just learned how to build a doghouse and now you think it's time to build a deck. But you don't understand building code, so it's not structurally sound.

I use the phrase about my own understanding of Responsive Web Design or other technical topics, but I try not to charge in to project meetings swinging three or four facts over my head. Alexander Pope wrote that "a little learning is a dangerous thing", but I don't think he meant always. In the business and IT worlds, too many folks try to pass off their cursory Google research as expertise. But if you're willing to accept correction and have an open mind, you can at least use a little learning to be part of the right conversations. And that's not so dangerous, is it?