1095 Hours

28 March 2006

The whole thing began as a short weblog entry by Jason Hoffman at the Joyent weblog. That entry pointed to an article titled Shaking Up Tech Publishing. There are currently forty six comments about that article.

Here’s how that turned into a two-day excursion through all kinds of new thinking:

In addition to being a creative genius who came up with a brilliant new teaching methodology, Kathy is also a great promoter, with an amazing blog, and hugely successful training seminars at our conferences.—Tim O’Reilly commenting about David Heinemeier Hansson’s Shaking Up Tech Publishing and Kathy Sierra’s development of O’Reilly’s Head First series.

The questions begged. What’s the Head First series? Who is Kathy Sierra? What’s this “brilliant new teaching methodology?” How do I find Kathy’s weblog?

On the web one thing leads to another. I found Kathy’s weblog first. In the sidebar of her weblog, I noticed How To Be An Expert. That one has a bunch of comments, too.

Finally, I made my way over to the Head First series at O’Reilly. There are more articles there, a short bio for Kathy and links to some more of her work. It makes me want to be a programmer, and, after all, this all began with it’s almost never too late.

What do you want to learn? Whatever it might be, I encourage you to add Kathy’s sites to your regular reading list. Start it all with the links above followed by Multitasking Makes Us Stupid and Mediocrity By Areas of Improvement.

I headed for my bookstore, bought a Head First title and launched a push for new expertise. Intense focus on a subject for one hour each day for three years could make you (or me?) an expert. You might not have spent 1095 hours on your undergraduate major. Oh…and you could do far worse than to keep David Heinemeier Hansson’s site on the reading list as well!

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