When you know just enough to be dangerous

I’ve always been amazed by the number of books that promise to teach you how to program in just a few days or weeks. I recently stumbled across a book at Amazon entitled: Sams Teach Yourself PHP in 10 Minutes. 10 minutes!!!

Why do we think it is possible to learn JAVA in the same time it takes to make a pot of coffee?

It has taken me years to learn how to program and I am still learning new things every day. Imagine if we applied this same thinking to other skills. I’ve never seen a book on how to learn to play the piano in 10 minutes. That’s because everyone knows that learning to play the piano takes countless hours and years of practice. No one should expect to become an expert overnight.

Why are people in such a rush?

Let’s stop spreading this lie that you can learn everything you need to know about programming just by reading a $20 book. You can’t. Sure, you might be able to gain a superficial familiarity, but not the deep understanding that is required to build a real application. Books like this are a great way to explore your interests. Just realize that by the time you finish the last page, you probably know just enough to be dangerous.