Ben Scofield

Ben Scofield

… rarely updated

What I'm doing now

This is a Now page and was last updated Nov 16, 2021

Thinking about expertise, understanding, and context

I’m still very interested in expertise, though my self-directed research has slowed a bit over the last few months as I settle into my new job. I’m continuing to think about the nature of expertise – what do you have when you have it? How do you develop it? – and trying to fit expertise across a wide variety of domains into a single model (though I’ve started to wonder if such a unified theory of expertise is particularly worthwhile)

My current view is that expertise is a combination of skill and understanding; these combine with (for lack of a better term) capabilities to produce reliably superior performance in a given domain.

I’ve been thinking about the role of technology (how it can compensate for a lack of one of those factors to improve performance), and especially about how understanding is related to context (understanding a topic involves situating it within your existing context, finding connections, etc.)

Working at HomeLight

At the end of July, I left GitHub to join HomeLight as their first Principal Engineer. Since then, I’ve been working with the team to build engineering practices that can scale as we grow. Some of that work is head-down in the code or in infrastructure, but for the most part I’m having great conversations with people every day.

Surviving the pandemic

Our family has been extremely fortunate. Aside from two short trips (both taken in the last four months), we’ve been mostly house-bound here in North Carolina. The kids have been back in school since July and are doing well – especially since our youngest got her first shot earlier this month. Our families are fully vaccinated, and we’re looking foward to spending a bit of time with them in the coming months.