How long does it take to become an expert?

I’m just reading Mary and Tom Poppendieck‘s latest book “Leading Lean Software Development“.  In it they make an interesting point about how long it takes to become an expert.

“It takes elite performers a minimum of 10,000 hours of deliberate, focussed practice to become experts.  That means it takes about ten years just to arrive at the top level.  And world-class performers don’t stop practicing once the reach the top; they keep up their deliberate practice, continually putting effort into getting better than others in their field.”

Ten years.  Of deliberate, focussed practice.  At least.

Raw talent helps, of course.  But it only gets you to the starting line. “After that, the people who excel are the ones who work the hardest.”

I’d better get back to work then…

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