Learning a new skill can be intimidating, especially one in which there is no set block of knowledge such as with computer programming. Programming changes significantly every couple of years (or faster). That doesn’t happen with things like, let’s say, carpentry. You don’t see a new carpenter show up for work one day only to find out that everyone else is ueing Hammer 4.5 and that your old fashioned 4.3.1 is not only no longer satisfactory, it has a well known tendency to light people on fire and go on killing sprees. No, carpentry is occasionally updated with important things like ‘Hey, guys, this asbestos stuff? Yeah, wicked terrible. Let’s stop using it.’ and BAM. Good for a decade or five*.
Such is how it goes with programming. I’m having to go back to the book on some of this and formalize my self-taught skills into something a bit more organized so I’m not the idiot in the room when the next design meeting comes up. I’ll only be the one who spews various insensitive comments about people and occasionally refers to himself in the third person to announce his actions. ODDBOT WRITE ON WHITEBOARD! ODDBOT DIAGRAM EXPECTED CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE FLOW IN ELEGANT FASHION!
With computer books there are a few categories.
- Books written for your parents to learn how to use Farmville.
- Books written for your parents to learn how to use Farmville and include lots of pictures in case they are going blind.
- Clearly bad books.
- Clearly bad books that you think might be a good book because of deceptive marketing or somewhat informative looking pictures.
- Good books.
Good books will bring you joy. I think I found such with the Head First series (also the best type of cheerleader, if we’re being honest), which both conveys information in a helpfully entertaining, and enlightening way and is informative. It is written for the programmer who is possibly drinking a beer at midday rather than working because they can. Hypothetically.
Unfortunately, with any entertaining book (like with comedy), you can potentially end up in a rather iffy territory at times. Such is this, which I swear that I have not photoshopped at all. If you don’t believe me, head to the bookstore, pick up Head First C# v2.0 and turn to p289. I’ll wait.
You won’t have to drink as much caffeine to stay awake and program, now will you?
*NOTE: while carpenter’s don’t exactly have to keep learning a ton of new skills, I’m pretty sure they have to learn how to tolerate a bunch of new shit people think is fantastic every few years. I’m guessing Jesus never had to put in a foyer, I’m pretty sure that most carpenters in the 20′s never had to worry about recessed breakfast nooks and I’m goddamn certain that no one in the 1950′s wanted ceiling reinforcement for a stripper pole on a raised stage in the bedroom along with a few ceiling harnesses for purposes to be determined later.**
**NOTE: I am sorry about putting in Jesus, goddamn and thinly veiled references to bondage equipment. ***
***NOTE: Do you have to get home owners association approval or code clearance to put in stripper stage? ****