Russ White wrote a great response to my “Do You Really Want to Write that Book?” blog post and I couldn’t agree more with what he wrote. Unfortunately, he seems to be a bit over-idealistic when analyzing why the market for high-end content is so small.
You know I usually have a cynical explanation handy, so here it is: too many people calling themselves engineers for no particular reason simply don’t care. It’s way easier to Google-and-paste your way around than to invest time in understanding the fundamentals.
I understand that you won’t devote days to studying technologies underlying a simple problem that you have to solve once in a lifetime, but if you encounter the same challenge multiple times, it’s time to do some proper research.
The problem with the scenic route to knowledge is that you have to invest an extraordinary amount of time before reaping the benefits (see also: 10K hour theories), but once you do, the results tend to be great.
For example, it’s really easy to identify the problems with most things touted as SDN once you’ve seen (and understood) enough networking technologies – there are only so many ways a problem can be solved, and I haven’t seen a revolutionary one in decades (regardless of what the marketers trying to separate VCs from their money claim).
To summarize: Don’t be one of the people interested in finding shortcuts (aka Best Practices) without understanding them. Whenever you’re trying to grasp a new technology ask simple questions like:
- WHAT problem is it trying to solve?
- HOW does it work (as opposed to How do I configure it)?
- WHY does it work the way it does?
Before you leave: If you made it this far, you MUST watch the excellent A Praise for Hackers Troopers 2016 keynote by Rodrigo Branco.
And finally: if you prefer watching videos over reading books, here’s a treasure trove of 130 hours of downloadable videos.