In response to “How to become a better developer in the next 8 months or so [Random Thoughts]”

12 06 2008

My friend Rafael George made this post some days ago.

While I mostly agree with him on his points, i’m not exactly sure about point #1

Read a technical book each week (Yes a week and yes a technical book)

Yes, reading a technical book sometime is… interesting. But is reading a technical book just for reading a technical book really worth it?

Technical books are boring most of the time, they tend to draw on endlessly on stuff that doesn’t really matter when you get down to apply it to real life. What use is reading a book on “Administering <Insert new technology here> on <Insert linux flavor of the week>” when you don’t really need to do anything serious related to it?

My point is that you will be missing out on most of what the book has to offer for you, since you have a high probability of just forgetting everything you read on it before you have a real practical use for it.

In my opinion, technical books are best used as reference material while you are developing something that uses the technology described in the book, but are great paper weights while not in use. Reading one of them once a week will probably result in you losing your time.

(Not that there aren’t any technical books that you shouldn’t read, like anything talking about data structures and algorythms… those are a must)

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5 responses

12 06 2008
Jimmy

Agree, tecnical books are boring. i have been trying to read up for the SJCP and coincidencially when i pick the book suddenly staring at a wall does not sound so boring

13 06 2008
Rafael George

I agree with you with that, but i was strictly talking about more general technical books, the ones that you will use for the rest of your career 🙂

13 06 2008
Ricardo Restituyo

Data structures and algorithms, that’s the key. You can read about programming philosophy all you want, but in the end, what makes you a better programmer is understanding those 2 areas. This is just my opinion.

17 06 2008
jorge

OMG ur alive!

17 06 2008
Ricardo Restituyo

I assure you, any rumors regarding me taking some vacations from life have been greatly exaggerated.

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