I Think I Have Read All The General Programming Books I Could
With all that in mind, its questionable how far you can get just by book learning. Before my first child was born, I read all the How To books, and still felt like a clueless novice.
In my leisure time and time during my college and graduate school, I have read tens of books besides my textbooks. They were mostly on computer and some were assorted, ranging from psychology to The Secret.
30 Months later, when my second child was due, did I go back to the books for a refresher? No.
Instead, I relied on my personal experience, which turned out to be far more useful and reassuring to me than the thousands of pages written by experts.
-Peter Norvig in Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years
Those among you who are fond of reading can relate to that feeling of contentment and getting lost in the words. And reading adds to your knowledge too :)
This reading also helped in my technical interviews. Now, I’m training on-the-job as a Web developer and I’ve learnt some new things:
- One of the things that struck me is that there is just so much technology and knowledge out there (also see The Humble Programmer), that even if time permitted, a single person cannot aspire to know it all.
- Division of labor means that as Web worker, your role will be narrow and well-defined. Like I’m training in PHP and MySQL, and moving on to WordPress. Thus topics other than this professional skill-set would be irrelevant now.
- There is little leisure time left once you commit yourself to a job.
I’ll end by quoting Don’t Make Me Think,
You don't need to know everything
Given the finite capacity of the human brain, [Sherlock] Holmes explains, he can't afford to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.