Saturday, October 20, 2012

Learning for now and later

Once again, Jeff Atwood hits the nail right on the head:
Do you ever feel like you're buried under umpteen zillion backlogged emails, feeds, books, articles, journals, magazines, and printouts? Do you ever feel that you're hopelessly behind, with so much new stuff created every day that you can never possibly hope to keep up?
Absolutely.  So much so that I started developing a Chrome Extension to solve my blog addiction.  I'll read a new blog and take one look at their archives, and want to devour everything there.

Problem is, I've also got a job.  In that job, I'm continually handling projects that are beyond the scope of my knowledge.  I need to keep expanding my knowledge if I want to produce the best work I possibly can.

It's very easy to get overwhelmed by the immense amount of data out there.  Currently, I have 28 29 30 tabs open, the majority of which are blogs to read "later."  The guys in the StackOverflow chat rooms don't help, as they're constantly recommending me new things to look into.

Well what do you do?  Jeff says to learn things "just in time," which I agree with most of the time.  There's something to be said for abstract learning, so long as it doesn't get in the way of what you need to do now.  When I sit down to work for the day, I spend 10-15 minutes reading blogs and news before  settling down to work.  It allows me to hack away at my huge backlog (though I often find myself opening more tabs than closing) as well as create a buffer between the stresses of the day and my coding.

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