Books are great, but they tend to linger and hang around as references when you need something. Screencasts are cool, but again, you need to remember to go to them and work on them when you can. Coding is like language study (and since in a way it is linguistics, that should come as no surprise). I remember back in 2009 I went into overdrive to learn how to write in Japanese. I spent each day practicing Kana and Kanji, and while I learned a lot, I had one major drawback... I had no one to converse with on a regular enough basis to make the skills stick. Additionally, I tend to do better when I prepare things as though I'm going to teach them to someone else, or at least have a dialog about the ideas I'm looking at.
My goal is to do something similar, and to that effect, I'm going to start another extended project, and invite you all to come along for the ride. Each morning, I will be doing a write up on "Learn Ruby The Hard Way". This is not just a pseudo-journalistic lark... it's actually a hard deliverable I agreed to for my performance review :). There are several goals that I will be working on and that I want to learn and think about, and so I'm going to experiment with a "total immersion" project. Also, this is a bit of a study in "Androgogy" or to see how well and under what circumstances an adult actually learns. I'm also big on the potential of "high shame goals"... meaning if I don't follow through, I deserve to have the entire TESTHEAD readership bag on me (remember my post this morning about Motivation? This is the equivalent of a double Espresso shot of it (LOL!) ).
Also, just as with the BOOK CLUB posts, I realize that this may not excite everyone, so I will be aiming to do two posts a day, the other posts covering different topics. The games will commence tomorrow morning. For those excited, I hope you will join me for the festivities. For those not excited, well... you have been warned (LOL!).