Lifelong Learning: A Supervisor's Perspective

Today, I attended a few assessments as a graduation supervisor for Software Development students. These students are all very capable junior developers at the end of their two-year program. They have already received praise and even job offers from their business supervisors. So, it was no surprise to me that they all successfully completed their assessments with good grades.

The funny thing is that most of these students were pretty surprised by how high their grades were. They didn't necessarily feel they did that well and some even doubted if they would pass their assessment at all.

This difference is interesting: as teachers, we know the level of these students is good enough based on feedback from the business supervisors and in comparison to earlier years. On the other hand, the students are unsure and do not feel fully competent. Yet.

For me, the power is in that last word. The students might not feel fully competent yet. But I know that, in time, they will gain more experience and become more confident. A person - especially one at a junior level and at the start of their career - just needs some repeated praise and acknowledgment before they start believing in themselves. Just like with driving a car, the real learning starts after you've received your driver's license. The same is true for a software developer who has just graduated. This is where their lifelong learning begins.

A coding classroom