On my opinions.

Yesterday, on how everyone learns things vs how I think everyone should (mucho paraphrasing and editing):

People these days, if they want to learn something, they go buy a book. That book tells them to buy a toolbox and they do. The book then goes on in immaculate detail about the origins of each tool (screwdrivers are for screwing screws into things), where it was made (a factory in magicland), the materials used to make it (magic plastic), amusing anecdotes about their creators (“Philips was a dick!”), and so on and so forth. Twenty chapters and eight months later, you are expected to know everything about every tool you now possess.

Then what? Your door hinges broke. What do you use to fix it? A screwdriver? Which one? Or you want to build a little kennel. Where the fuck do you start? You don’t know anything about wood. Is there a book for that? Or your microwave is toast. Electrical stuff?

Knowing about those tools uses precious memory overhead that isn’t worth it in the first place. Not everyone needs the same tools. Not everyone needs more than one. It depends!

I know it sounds clichéd and lame to say “don’t think, just do!” or “don’t prepare, just go for it!”, but the reason it’s so often repeated is because it is in fact very good advice. There is something to be said about a bootstrap requiring a boot in the first place, though, but I digress for the boot here is the internet.

Chuck the books. They’re useless for the most part. After they introduce the bare essentials, you’re done. Anything else is just junk you need to wade through for what exactly it is that you need. And there are better ways to find what you need. Google it.

You don’t need to know shit. You don’t need to know “all the topics”. You just need to know everything about whatever it is you want to do.

Google the hell out of it. I needed a GUI module for Python to display the game on-screen (by the way, it’s going rather well). So I googled that. And I came to Tkinter. And a bunch of other things. Tkinter was inbuilt so I picked that. I didn’t know how to make an image appear onscreen. I googled that. I could make an image appear onscreen. I didn’t know how to track where the user clicks with the mouse. I googled that. I could track where the user clicks with the mouse. Repeat ad infinitum.

You should do this because you want to, because you like to, because the end result makes you happy. If you do it because you have to, because it’s an assignment that’s worth a grade, because you want to impress the people interviewing you, stop and take a long hard look at yourself. Is this really what you want to do? When you could be enjoying doing something else?

(Apologies for the suddenly sanctimonious turn that took.)

This was #18.


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