What happens when a software engineer, after deciding that there’s nothing left to learn, is placed in a position of power?

In The Expert Beginner, Dietrich traces the path of this programmer from rise to inevitable downfall. The author describes the development of the expert beginner’s mindset, explaining how one might believe in the achievement of total mastery while faced with evidence to the contrary. He then shows how, if put in a position of power, this person will poison entire software groups and create a culture of stagnation. Part commentary on technical groups and part sociological analysis/office taxonomy, The Expert Beginner tells a story. This story, as it turns out, is about more than just an individual programmer or software groups. It is about a tragedy writ large, coloring all aspects of our culture even beyond the world of computer science.

Erik Dietrich

My name is Erik Dietrich and I am founder and principal of DaedTech LLC. I have a BS Degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University and a MS degree in the same from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I have over ten years of experience in software architecture, design, implementation, legacy rescue and stabilizing/sustaining.

My personal interests include home automation and home improvement, which have an interesting relationship to pure programming. I've also always been kind of a math geek at heart and might have majored in Mathematics in another life. In less technical arenas, I tend to be a bit of a dabbler with interests ranging from literature to philosophy to the sciences.