What is a professional?

I went to an event with Dr. Lee Shulman, the President of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The following thoughts are inspired from his talk.

One day, companies will select the Product Managers the way we select our medical doctors. In software, I see constantly fantastic quality code and ideas that go down the drain, unfulfilling the potential.

The medical doctors are specialists on types of illnesses. We ask for their reputation.

What is a professional? A professional is someone who does not simply know about something. A professional does something with what he knows. S/He is not judged by what s/he knows, but by what s/he produces as a result of that knowledge. This means understanding the individuals who will both need and afford the product. The most widely used word is “market”. The market is an impersonal abstraction. A market is made of people, who are not an amorphous mass that swallows hamburgers and Barbie dolls.
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