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Goal-based Learning

“You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a fucking education you could’ve got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.” –Will, Good Will Hunting

My experience in college can be summed up as an ongoing lesson on learning. College was an opportunity to learn how to learn. I am employing tactics, which I used to succeed at a university, to pick up the knowledge that I need to perform tasks and prepare for future accomplishments.

There have been many books that I have read since I left college. Some books that I believe have improved my code and overall software architecture are Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications by Booch et al. and the gang of four’s Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. These books are not specific to a particular programming environment, but can be applied to many kinds of projects.

As an example of a book that is less theoretical and more applicable, C.J. Date’s An Introduction to Database Systems comes to mind. I have read several books on team and project management, too. I also picked up books that I wanted to read while I was at college, namely, Richard Stevens’ Unix Network Programming. I have also read books on notations like the UML, but I feel the same about reading such books as I did in college. I am still somewhat discouraged from reading about notations that I perceive as more transient than a given widely accepted, general programming language.

Not all books that I have read are technical. I have read books that talk about personal finance and planning, such as Peter Lynch’s Beating the Street and One Up on Wall Street, David and Tom Gardner’s The Motley Fools Rule Breakers Rule Makers and The Motley Fool Investment Guide, along with Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

My reading queue currently includes a math book on game theory, Luce and Raiffa’s Games and Decisions, and one on legal matters with regard to software. I did not care much for reading while I was in school, so I am pretty impressed with the amount of reading that I have done lately. There are still many books on topics that I would like to study and other books that are listed in the syllabuses of graduate level university courses that make up my reading list.

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