An Intro to Ignorance

Have you ever heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect? It's a well-known phenomenon in Psychology in which individuals with limited experience or knowledge in a domain overestimate their level of expertise. It is often visualized as a curve:

Dunning-Kruger Curve

In other words: as you learn more about a domain, the more you realize how little you actually know about it.

I write about this effect because I've realized that I am a victim of it. A friend recently approached me and asked for help building a web application. As I've helped build and deploy production level apps, I confidently agreed and set about writing a tech spec and architecting a solution. However, my engineering knowledge is largely self-taught and piecemeal, and the more I've worked on his app the more I've realized the gaps in my understanding.

Thus, I find myself on the left end of the curve above. Which, as a naturally ambitious learner, I find to be unacceptable. To rectify this, I've decided to revisit the basics by writing a series of introductory posts intended for beginners.

Over the next few weeks, we'll start with an overview of what a web application is, how you can use Flask and react.js to build one, and how you can use AWS to deploy one at scale.

Excited to get started!

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