Lifelong Learning

Via HN. Interesting article on rules to follow for lifelong learning by Richard Hamming, widely known for Hamming code, an error-correcting code used in telecommunication industry.

For a software developer, lifelong learning is crucial if you want to sustain your passion and extend your career. Similarly to fashion modelling or idols, ageism in software development is real and unavoidable. For non-technical people point of view, is always cheaper and easy to manage (ahem manipulate) young blood. This is true where the organization have limited budget and the developed system is just non-critical plain CRUD app.

The first rule resonates with me. Knowing the fundamental is understanding how things works as compare to get things to work. For example, using any programming languages to build a website is getting things to work. Knowing how the HTTP protocol works with all its intricate parts is understanding how things works. Many years ago, in FOSS world, Perl was the default choice to build any website. Later it was dethroned by PHP, and in a short while, Ruby due to Rails, and now Javascript which is ridding on Node.js popularity. Regardless the current trending programming language used for building a website, the fundamental part still remains the same. Hence, to stay relevant, focus on the fundamental.

Judging by my current career detour right now, this is the best time to pick up the fundamental again.

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