On Learning

When I was a kid, I liked learning, but didn’t recognize it because I was going to school.  Somehow schools seem to distract you from any possibility of learning, supplying instead discipline and memorization.

Computers saved me.  In my teens I explored BBS’s, including exchanging messages with folks across the country via Fidonet.

The best thing about college was getting on the internet.  This was right around the time of the creation of the WWW, but no one really cared about that yet.  Usenet, especially FAQs on every topic of interest in geekdom, were the fountain of knowledge.

Skip forward a few years.  Working at Microsoft is very demanding, and I didn’t seem to have time to invest in trying to learn more.  I stagnated for a while.  When my son was born, free time diminished further.  Also, seeing him learn effortlessly actually had me thinking that I was too old to learn any more!

The change was when we started working on Refactoring support in the C# editor.  I figured I better read that Refactoring book everyone was talking about.  Not only did I learn the power of Refactoring, but I started learning about OO programming.  That spawned learning about Extreme Programming and Test-Driven Development.  I found the Wiki, full of information and ideas.

My renewed interest in learning got me into sailing (finally), which has me tying knots, too. 

I love it.  Life is richer when its filled with learning.  I don’t intend to stop.

Comments (5)

  1. You know there is a problem when on the walk home from the library your kids are trying to read and walk at the same time. You wonder where they would get such a stupid idea from 😉

    I have found I love the non-fiction section of the library more than the fiction. I have read about doing way more things than I have ever tried. But if I ever get a chance to wield a hammer over a forge and anvil, I’ll at least have some basic understanding, or blow glass, or use a spring bow lathe, or lay block, or build a solar home, or …

    At least my reading on bread is something I can practice (Colby-oregano braid is in the lunch today), now if only I could build a brick oven…

  2. jaybaz [MS] says:

    Jim: Cool kids! You’ve just placed some more items on my to-learn list. Thanks.