Developers often talk about technical debt but I’ve long thought that all of us accumulate learning debt throughout life. It’s something that we acquire from our first days and is the sum of all the wisdom that others pass on to us. It’s a debt that can never be paid off but all of us can do something to right the balance. I like to think of being active in programming communities as being a way to pay down a small part of my learning debt. Giving back enables me pass on some of the knowledge that I’ve gathered over the years. This also has a subtle benefit: it enables me to make a web of contacts that further help my career. Take a moment to consider how you can make payments against your learning debt. You never know when these payments will help you in return.