Reading != learning

I think that I have always been a reader. There is a box with books from my childhood, and now I have shelves full of books. A great number of them are technical. But there are also novels and history related books. I even signed up to review books for O’Reilly. I already did a number of them (including two reviews that were not for O’Reilly).

But you know what, I did not really learn anything from them yet. The problem with technical books, programming books is that you have to do something with the knowledge. Otherwise it will not stick. So I’m taking a break from the reviewing stuff. I’m going to set two goals for myself, after which I can pick up the reviewing again. What are those goals?

1. Build an iPad/iPhone app and release it to the Appstore

After the iOS book I was eager to write something, but then again another book came by and the app is left unfinished. So I’m going to finish it and release it. I have an idea and already started on it. It is time to focus and finish it. Probably will take a couple of months though.

Progress will be visible in my github repo.

2. Learn Ruby and change my default language for a certain period

I have just finished the book of Ruby and before that touched on Ruby while reading the seven languages book. But again I’m lacking some real experience. So I will change my default script/tool language for a certain period and see where that will take me. I hope to get some fluency in Ruby and try on IronRuby and MacRuby. That will give me some flexibility in developing on my MacBook or on my Windows laptop. I’m planning of working through some of the coding Katas as described here. That will give me some guidance as I’m trying stuff.

Ruby, a programmer's Best Friend

The big eye-opener here is that I have to stop reading technical books, but I have to start doing them. Let’s see how I will do.