I listened to episode 98 of Hanselminutes on my flight from Frankfurt to Bangalore. My colleague Greg had been urging me to listen to it but I had not found time. I was following Ender on his war games. In episode 98, Scott Hanselman interviews Hanselman Senior, his dad. I read the synopsis of the show and thought, ah Scott is trying to show us all how cool his dad is.
I am not a fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink. Jumping to conclusions in the blink leads most people to judge incorrectly. There may be a few for whom Blink works but, for most people IT DOES NOT. Let’s say you are introduced to a not very good looking person. Your blink judgement will not be fair and often clouds your judgement about the person. Only after you talk to the person or interact with them for sometime do you begin to get some sense of who they may be. Even then the person may be clever enough to mask their serial killer nature. Blink does not work in most cases. And it did not in my judgement of this episode of Hanselminutes.
In my opinion this episode of Hanselminutes is THE BEST. All episodes of Hanselminutes are good. You always walk away learning something useful. But technology changes and with the pace it is changing, most things technical will be obsolete. But there are a few life lessons to be learnt from episode 98 that are timeless.
The most important lesson that reinforced my belief, is that nurture matters more than nature. I agree that nature is important. If you are born with certain faculties non-existent you may have a difficult time, although many have surmounted theirs. David Hanselman’s encouragement and sacrifices have made Scott who he is today. Had Scott’s dad not given up his favorite vehicle and bought the computer, Scott’s genius may have found other outlets resulting in God knows what. Proper nurture is very important in the upbringing of a child and it takes patience and sacrifice.
The second lesson is of trust. Trust that your child will do the right thing because you show them how. Scott was trusted enough to have his own “den”. He could have been building something dangerous but because his interest was encouraged he did the right thing.
The third lesson is – Teachers are a vital piece of the nurture puzzle. Both Scott and his dad fondly remember the teachers who had the greatest impact on Scott’s life. I had a few teachers like that. Next to parents, teachers at school, especially in lower grades, are the most important people in a child’s life. Sometimes teachers have greater influence over the child. We need more teachers like that. Teachers who can create more Scott Hanselmans.
So, I was wrong in my blink judgement of this episode of Hanselminutes and I thank Scott for interviewing his dad and putting together the podcast. Thanks are also due to Mr.David Hanselman and Scott’s teachers for giving us all a superdev.
Let there be more Scotts and teachers and parents who can create them.