Friday, December 21, 2007

Picking Up Where I Left Off

I created this blog back in June of 2005. I was attending the first training class for Spring offered by Interface 21 in Atlanta, GA. I read about somebody blogging during a class they were taking and decided that I'd be technical and cool if I did so, too. As you can see, I did manage to post an entry for each day that I attended.

Then nothing.

It's funny, because I've kept a personal electronic journal on my PC at home since May 1994. It's peppered with all kinds of personal events in my life (e.g., the passing of a younger brother, stories about my children, etc.) But I haven't been moved to put much of myself out on the web - until now.

After I signed up for Google Reader I started accumulating RSS feeds. One of them was Elliott Rusty Harold's Java site. One day he much have linked to a guy named Steve Yegge, who now works at Google. I was struck by Stevey's Blog Rants, so I added him to my subscriptions.

Today I read a terrific entry entitled "Code's Worst Enemy" It made me terribly uncomfortable, because I've been a software developer for the past twelve years, making a living writing C++ and mostly Java. The column reminded me that I have to continue to learn, to keep stretching myself to make sure that I wasn't another ignorant Java programmer who knew nothing about Lisp or other computer science topics. I forwarded the column around to a bunch of friends and co-workers.

I found a reference to a previous blog that Steve maintained: Stevey's Drunken Blog Rants. It was filled with great stuff. I ran across an old one entitled "You Should Write Blogs".

I found it to be so nicely written, and so inspiring, that I reopened this old Blogger account that's over two years old and started writing. Let's hope I can keep it up.

Computer science is a funny field. It's a young man's game. You have to keep moving at a pace that makes mechanical engineering seem staid by comparison. The people who do well in this field know a lot of languages, the kind that stretch their brains. It won't do to just learn one curly brace language after another. They work on open source software. They have web sites. They write books. They speak. They blog.

I don't know if it's too late for me, but I need to start doing more of those things. Here's my first step.

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