Re: How do you find time? (WAS: Learning to code on the cheap)

Subject: Re: How do you find time? (WAS: Learning to code on the cheap)
From: "Gururaj B S" <gururaj_bs -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 21:15:41 +0530

> Mike's got a point here - I bought a "Learn Perl in 21 Days" book over a
> year ago and still have yet to get past the first few lessons. However, if
> I *had* to learn Perl (or some other language) to successfully complete my
> day-to-day duties on the job, I'd have learned Perl ages ago. (Luckily,
> the way my developers wrote Perl, it was very easy to read through that
> code and find out what the script did for my doc needs.)
> For everyone out there, how do you find the time to stay current? Do you
> read up/work during off hours? If so, do you ever have to deal with the "I
> work in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, I'm not going to do it at
> home" syndrome (of which I'm a sufferer)? Are you able to work it in
> during slow times at work? If so, have you ever had any problems with your
> boss and how did you work it out? Increasing my technical knowledge during
> slow periods at work would really be ideal - here's where I'm focused and
> here's where I've got the fast connection and all the software I need -
> but I'm concerned my boss might view it negatively. Do you clear it with
> your boss first? Does it even matter? How do you find the time to keep up
> and increase your technical skills?

I think you asked an excellent question. Is it really viable? We would need
to figure out how we manage our time for picking up these skills
(ancillary??). It solely depends on one's learning ability and style. Yes,
as you said, bosses may not let us aberrate from our daily duties, but the
million-dollar question is, how do you take your boss into confidence,
especially if he or she does not know the significance of training. What
matters to them are only two things: the end result and a minimal schedule
variance. It's good to have bosses who wear spectacles! They may not have
good vision, and they may not even see what we do in front of our computers
(you learn or write to a mailing list or chat with a pal) :)

Unless we are clear about the results or relevance to our work, I think, we
should not even mull over online courses or whatever! Identify your dormant
skills first and then try to pick up new things. This applies to your domain
knowledge as well. If the job demands you to know these, yes, consider
taking up a course to hone your technical skills. Otherwise, sustain what
you have now.



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