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Proof of knowledge

Certification courses, and college in general, are focused on providing proof of knowledge. If you want to showcase that you have the knowledge when it comes to Physics, Computer Science, Python programming, or even Microsoft Excel, there are either degrees one can obtain or certification courses that they can get.

However, knowledge is almost never the problem. It is super easy today to obtain a proof of knowledge (and obtain knowledge itself in the process).

Earlier this week, in my weekly football game, my team conceded a goal late in the game. We were discussing it at the end of the game and a teammate was explaining to our goalkeeper how he should have rushed out and covered the angles, making it harder for the opponent to score, rather than stay rooted to his spot at the centre of the goal.

Our goalkeeper responded by saying that he knew that that was exactly what he needed to do, but his tiredness and lack of stamina by the end of the game was what prevented him from rushing out and preventing the goal from being scored.

A classic example where the outcome was not due to a lack of knowledge but due to something else, a lack of energy in this case.

This is very true at the workplace as well.

It is common to see people who clearly have the knowledge but are unable to execute on it. This could be due to anything from their lack of motivation to the culture and context of the organization not setting them up to follow through on what they know is right.

Hence, in interviews, we only give a cursory glance to proof of knowledge. However, the bulk of the evaluation process goes into identifying proof of work. And this needs to be proof of work in the context and culture of our company. As that is a much stronger indicator of a successful integration into the company.

Proof of knowledge used to be paramount. But we have steadily moved away from it towards proof of work. 

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