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"Je ne sais pas"

In the fast-moving world of creating software, where each piece of code and every decision matters, there's an unstated pressure to know everything. The worry of seeming less capable often lingers, causing professionals to avoid a simple yet powerful phrase: "I don't know." In my journey as a software developer, I've realized the importance of admitting when I don't have all the answers.

The boundaries

In a work setting, there's an unspoken expectation that experienced individuals have extensive knowledge in their field. Admitting not knowing something can feel like a hit to one's professional image. The fear of seeming inexperienced or less capable often leads individuals to avoid telling the truth.

Thinking back on my own experiences, being honest about what I don't know has been a game-changer. In the early stages of my career, I gave in to the pressure of always having the right answers. However, as I grew in my role, I realized that showing vulnerability is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Saying "I don't know" isn't admitting incompetence; it's recognizing one's current knowledge limits. It's a declaration of authenticity and a commitment to truthfulness. As professionals, we should understand that the quest for knowledge is an ongoing journey, and no one can be an expert in everything. Showing the boundaries of your knowledge is in my opinion essential in your professional career.

Fostering a culture of honesty

In project environments, avoiding admitting uncertainty can have harmful effects. It can lead to misguided decisions, wasted time, and, ironically, a lack of professional growth. By creating a culture that encourages honesty about our limitations, we build an environment where learning is prioritized over pretending to know everything.

Acknowledging what we don't know is a sign of professional maturity. It shows a readiness to learn, adapt, and collaborate. When we accept our vulnerabilities, we open the door to constructive dialogue and create an atmosphere where others feel empowered to do the same.


In the ever-changing world of software development, the pursuit of knowledge should come with a healthy dose of humility. Saying "I don't know" isn't a defeat; it's an invitation for collaboration, learning, and growth. As professionals, let's break free from the idea of always being right and understand that true strength lies in our ability to be honest about our limitations. In doing so, we pave the way for a culture that values authenticity and encourages continuous improvement.

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