Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I like Peter Norvig's essay Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years. Peter's an old-time Lisp and AI/language hacker who decries the abundance of "Teach Yourself (something hard) in (too few) Days" titles that somehow suggest there's a quick path to expertise. His bottom line: there isn't.

This by way of Workbench by Rogers Cadenhead, who hates "... the treatment of computer programming as a laborious skill that requires years of monastic devotion to attain." There's a middle ground between the two extremes, but i'm closer to Norvig's end. You can learn syntax quickly, but syntax alone doth not a programmer make. In particular, there are concepts, approaches, and disciplines that only come from experience. Norvig's quote of Samuel Johnson hits the mark, and applies far beyond programming:

"Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price."


8:33:55 PM #  Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.  comment []  trackback []

Here's Jon Udell's take on using RSS for job-hunting (with a lot of technical detail) ... 


4:24:47 PM #  Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.  comment []  trackback []
job hunting. Seems like a perfect way to aggregate the things you're looking for, without having to visit a lot of sites with things you're not interested in. In fact, this is such a good idea, i just heard about one last week: RSSJobs.
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