Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ten Years?

Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, wrote a pithy web page called:

Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years

It is a reaction to all the "Learn Foo in 7 Days" books we see in bookstores.  Personally, I always took those titles as a challenge.  If they said "7 Days" I'd think I could do it in 2.

I tried that as an interview question for a while, "If you saw a book that said 'in 7 Days' how long do you think it would take you?"  Some thought that was a mean question, but I think it's good for a programmer to have some confidence.

In my sidebar I say:

There are many guesses about how long it should all take. I'd say you can be writing simple web programs in a few weeks, be turning out solid work in about a year, and be an expert in a few more. That's assuming you really get into it.

I guess the hedge there is "assuming you really get into it."

But still, if you do get into it, you should develop your independent learning ability, and scoff at "7 days."

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