Are you an expert at anything?

I keep hearing people referred to as an expert at whatever.
Others call themselves expert.
Who decides?

What are you good at?

No sexual braggery, please.

I consider myself a Macintosh expert. I’ve been using them since 1985, I’ve been a developer, and I have a nice side business doing support and hardware/software upgrades and repairs.

Are there people who know more than me? Sure, nobody knows everything.

The amusing thing is - although I work in embedded software/hardware design, I know that there are a LOT of people who know more about that than I do. So, I don’t know if I would call myself an expert in my actual field of work.

But, I’m still pretty good at it.

Expertise is a very long sliding scale. You can have ten different people, each of whom appears like an “expert” to the people to their left, yet they each consider all the people to their right to be more expert than they themselves are.

My elderly parents think I am a PC expert. Yet their little friends in their retirement community think *they * (my parents) are experts because of the few tricks that I’ve taught them. And I know that I’m just a dilettante compared to a real IT person.

Sometimes I think expert might mean knows more than most others in the trade or skill even though they might admittedly have a lot yet to learn.

As a truck mechanic for 40 years I consider myself an expert at many aspects of truck mechanics but not all. I consider myself to be an expert all wood archery bow and arrow maker or whats known as a bowyer because I have been doing it for a very long time, have and presently hold some world records and have contributed to many of the procedures we now consider basic to the art.

I am an expert at:

arterial punctures
naso-tracheal suction
baritone ukulele

So nothing useful, unless you happen to be drowning in your own sputum.

I’m a competent electrician, and other electricians on this board usually agree with me when I’m first out of the gate with an answer.

I’m a competent cook and feel I can hold my own with most folks. I don’t usually require a recipe to create a dish and often make it up as I go along. I have a good sense of what spices and herbs go with what, how to make stocks and sauces, etc. I’m not afraid to tackle any new dish that catches my eye, regardless of complexity.

I’m a pretty good genealogist, having pursued it as a hobby for the past 15 years.

I’ve appraised fine art for 15 years with the IRS checking out the more expensive pieces (for estate settling) and they’ve never questioned me, so I’ll go with that.

IME, it’s easier to be an “expert” on stuff nobody cares about.

I think I could place in the upper six-sigma’s for knowledge about playing the guitar lap style with a piece of glass or metal. (Aka, ‘steel guitar’, ‘Hawaiian guitar’.)

Acoustic, electric, Dobro, different tunings, glass vs. metal, picks, etc. Repertoire.

If the fate of the free world ever depends on this, I hope the president knows who to call.

In our bank, I’m viewed as the expert in financial analysis; you know: ratios, cash flow, simulation --sophomore college stuff. Funny thing is, in a big finance company, you can count the number of really good analysts with the fingers of one hand.

I’ve been a FileMaker developer since version 2 in 1996 and I’m pretty damn good at it.

I pretty good at ArcGIS. Among my colleagues, I’m an expert. But among all ArcGIS users, I’m just “pretty good.” And I’m fine with this. This just encourages me to get better.

I’m an expert (or just pretty damn good) at making commercials for radio. At my best, I could live cold-read copy into a 15 second spot in a donut bed and hit it dead-on. {Translation: I would read the spot live into a pre-recorded music background that started with a jingle and gave me only 15 seconds to speak my piece before ending with the jingle again.}

I’m an expert online searcher. People come to me to sort through data and find things after they’ve tried for hours Googling. I can judge and filter and come up with an “answer” not just a result.

I teach search skills and databases for a living. BOOLEAN, wazzup.

I’m also an expert people manager. But no one ever needs someone to JUST manage.

I’m considered an expert troubleshooter. When things are really, truly broken, I get called in, even for systems I have no prior experience with. The principles and techniques are pretty much universal, and I can usually guide the process even while I’m still learning the details.

When I go skiing or downhill biking I see that some runs are marked “Experts only.” Therefore I am an expert. So to say.

Two completely different fields. And pretty good at some things related to them.

1 - Photography. Digital and Film. Not just good enough to make more than 50% of my living at it, but good enough to teach others who have also made it their living.

2 - Drywall and plaster texture and finishing. Any type, any material, any style, from just about any period in recent history (early 1900s and newer). I get calls from people in other states to match certain old styles. Started out as a commercial painter, moved into restaurant and residential remodel (skilled but not expert at tile setting, flooring, and finish carpentry), installed replacement windows for Pacesetter and Home Depot. Now I pick and choose what texture jobs I want. Leg and ankle injuries make ladder work painful and difficult.

While not expert, I’m also pretty knowledgeable about the Bible (not religion, the Bible itself), and I know enough lay astronomy to follow discussions deeper than I can join in.

Plus, I know how to make a woman scream with pleasure.*

  • I find sales on Gucci and Prada

I’m really quite good at backing up trailers. I’d say expert. And knowing *just *when to flip the channel back to Jeopardy or whatever I was watching.

Typically a science or mathematics Ph.D. makes you one of the foremost world experts in some extraordinarily narrow field.

I wouldn’t know for sure, but this is probably also the case for Ph.D’s in any other discipline.

I used to be an expert with a popular software application. Not the best in the world, but up there at the top, good enough so that people recognised my name.

And it was kind of fun. Not that I exploited it, just knowing that out of all the people in the world there is one (small but recognisable) thing that you can do better than everyone else.

It was the magic of the internet that gave me that. Without the internet, I would have had no way of judging my skills, few would have known, and few would have cared.