Tools for professionals, tools for amateurs
5 min read
fairly easy
Perhaps tools and they way people use them offer us a new way of looking at the differences between professionals and amateurs.
Published September 14, 2021 Tools for professionals, tools for amateurs

In my day job, I'm a designer and engineer. In my free time, I'm a writer and photographer Would I consider myself an amateur or a professional in each of those skillsets?

I'm obviously a professional engineer and designer since I've built a career on both. However, I also use those two skills to create this blog, which I wouldn't consider a professional pursuit. I wouldn't consider myself a professional writer, but it's a critical part of my design practice.

What is the difference between a professional and an amateur?

What's the difference?

The definition of professional is quite clear. The Oxford English Dictionary's second definition, "a person engaged in a specified activity, especially a sport or branch of the performing arts, as a main paid occupation rather than as a pastime," seems to be the one most people refer to.

Amateur, on the other hand, has two definitions that are both used often. The first is "a person who engages in a pursuit, especially a sport, on an unpaid rather than a professional basis." The second is "a person who is incompetent or inept at a particular activity."

Skill level as criterion

Farnam Street's The Difference Between Amateurs and Professionals uses the second definition, describing an amateur as inept at something. This is understandable considering Farnam Street's focus on the topic of self-improvement. The article sheds light on how…
Arun Venkatesan
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