For about 5 years I made my living fixing computer systems for businesses who’s owner’s nephew knew something about computers. More often than not, my task was to take the work of a hobbyist and revise it for a professional environment. Contrary to what many believe, there is a vast difference between a professional computer person and a person who fiddles with their home system. Home and work are two different worlds.
A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend who was considering home-schooling. He believed that because he and his wife had college educations they were more than qualified to teach academic subjects through high school. My response was to tell him the story of my own, misguided, attempt to equate myself to the pros based on slightly related experience.
I had been in a couple bands in high school and even took extended course work in music theory. While performing with a community choir, I had the opportunity to perform with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra—- that was cool. However, when we got to rehearsal, I found that the pros are expected to know, not learn. The conductor went through the score and said, “At measure 127 I want a slight increase in the horn section, okay, let’s hear it.” We did about 10 measures and then it was on to the next piece. We never went through the whole program. It was assumed that we knew and to go through it in detail was a waste of time.
Here on LumberJocks, there has been a bit of conversation about what pros do, or should do. For the most part, I’ve tried to keep my nose clean (and it has been hard), since I ain’t no pro. How the pros use the site is not my call, but one for Martin and those he looks to for input. And, until the pros start telling me I’m not welcome here, I’ll hang around because you can’t do better than learning from a pro.
The professional has authority to say things that I cannot say. I do things that work for me and some of those things are good and some of those things are less than desirable. However, I have no real risk. I have no reputation and what I do is for my enjoyment and education. The pros on the other hand have not only their reputation, but their livelihood on the line. The result of this situation is an awareness of consequences that I need not concern myself with. An experienced professional wil typically encounter more situations and oddities than any hobbyist. Unless they’re stupid and arrogant, this gives the pros a distinct advantage and an acquired wisdom that deserves deference on my part.
The professionals on LumberJocks add a legitimacy to the site that does not exist in hobby forums. The professionals provide wisdom that can only be had by engaging risk. The professionals speak with authority that most of us can only dream of. I, for one, appreciate the pros.
-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com