When I was in school, I had a GPA of about 2.0. Teachers said in reports that I had neglected to turn in almost all of the work they assigned to me – a missing physics notebook, a missing English report, and in one case, a missing term paper. We’d been working on that term paper for two months, supposedly.
I spent my afternoons with the ultimate frisbee club I started with my friends. I spent my evenings on the computer. Can you picture me on the computer, my notes and books open next to me? So I could pretend I was doing my homework?
Can you picture my parents getting these teacher reports?
My GPA was 2.0 from 3rd grade to 16th, so you can infer that I know almost nothing. I lose at every trivia game. My wife will pick up crossword puzzles, and I’ll just get out a book or check my blogs.
And yet, in the last 18 months I’ve formed a company with three employees, and single-handedly written a program that handles thousands of users and over 750,000 pieces of assessment data – scores and ratings and comments. All without knowing anything!
Here’s the thing: the technology we’re using to create ActiveGrade was released in 2008. Even if I HAD studied in school… I graduated in 2005. Knowing things isn’t enough. Maybe, knowing specifics is less important than ever – if I knew more history I might back that up more convincingly.
ActiveGrade is hiring, and what will we put in the developer job description? We can’t require experience – the tools we’re using were invented three years ago, and a tiny fraction of the population knows how to use them. You all know how I feel about tests – I’m not going to hire someone based on a test score when I care about creativity, compassion, and hard work.
I want to hire someone with the things I got out of my childhood INSTEAD of knowledge: curiosity, fun, tinkering skills, trouble-shooting skills, communication skills.
Knowledge is A LOT CHEAPER than it was when we were in school. Casual Obedience is NOT THAT IMPORTANT. I hope that the grades we give out are not based on knowledge and obedience. I hope we’re not misleading our children to think that obedience is our biggest goal.