When I was inexperienced I didn’t see the value of experience. Through sheer willpower I could get things done despite my lack of experience. Today I’m still skeptical of experience because it isn’t the time you’ve spent doing something but the lessons you’ve learned. It is too easy to do your job by going through the motions and taking away nothing of future use.

But now that I’m older I do see the benefits of some kinds of experience, generally broad strokes rather than narrow. Things that could apply across multiple projects and years, rather than experience with the quirks in the 2000 version of SQL Server. The good kind of experience in that example is knowing how databases are built in general terms. Once you know that you can fill in the details of quirks of specific versions. At that point the knowledge of these quirks has a place to live in a greater system rather than being one piece of knowledge disjointed from the rest of the world and regarded as sacred. It is only sacred because you don’t know why it works the way it does. Once you know that you’ll have useful experience.