So much to learn

October 29, 2008

I recently posted a question to stackoverflow that has been bugging me for a long time: Should I take programming courses when I already have experience? I have been a developer for 3 and a half years. I think I’m pretty good at it, but I know there is a lot out there that I could stand to learn. Mainly, it’s probably an inferiority complex I have about not knowing as much about some things as other people. I have kept this feeling suppressed for a while by learning as much as I could about as much as I could. Once stackoverflow came out of private beta, it has really dawned on me how little I know, and how much is out there which I would like to learn.

As is somewhat the norm, the answers to my question were mostly helpful, and I thought I would post some of the things I found most helpful (since I don’t feel all that great about accepting one particular answer when the question is obviously subjective). 

MIT OpenCourseWare

The online course materials at MIT OpenCourseWare are pretty good. The first course on the list is an intro to Comp Sci. Their language that they study in the intro course is Python and that happens to be one of the languages I have been wanting to learn. I had a professor who absolutely swore by it but he was a bit odd, even for a Mathematics professor, so that was not a glowing endorsement. I have been wanting to learn a scripting language which is object oriented and I think python is a pretty good choice. Ruby is a close second.

There were also a number of books mentioned. If I get around to reading them I’ll have to post what I learned. In another question (that one being about functional programming), I came across a book that I had heard of before Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (the link goes to a pdf version which could disappear at any time I’m sure). This could be a good study as well.


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