Knowledge Portfolio

I first encountered this concept of the knowledge portfolio in the book The Pragmatic Programmer.

The concept can be said to loosely be:

Looking at the collection of knowledge you posess as a portfolio akin to the ones we find in investment.

This can potentially have the power to serve as a partial heuristic for making good career and knowledge decisions.


From this perspective the things you know are assets that:

  1. are invested in now for benefits to be had down the line and/or now
  2. that might grow and shrink in value/relevance over time
  3. potentially compound in and of themselves
  4. carry intrinsic risk
  5. could/should be managed

Some of these are commonly thought of; 1 applies very well to the commonly held value of school, university and studies.

1 is about knowledge generating external currency, 3 is about the potential compounding growth of the skill itself.

Risk and management

The interesting part is the one about the risk and the way we manage that risk; choose both high and low risk endevours in order to be somewhat safe.

This way you’re setting yourself up for a future you don’t know what holds.