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George Clingerman       XNADevelopment.com

Seriously. Reading the entire way through a tech book is hard. I'm currently working on reading Code Complete as part of meeting one of my goals for "Becoming a Better Developer". This has become the one goal that I am having a serious struggle to finish this month. It's one of the hardest things I have done recently. I'm talking deadline is in a few days and you just realized that extra little feature you added during the final stages of the project when you knew you shouldn't but figured it wouldn't take much time and what would it hurt is causing massive project failure and panic hard.

What's so incredibly surprising about the difficulty I am having is that I LOVE to read. I read at least two books a week if not more. It is one of my favorite pastimes and reading is one of those few things that I just couldn't live without. I really couldn't live without my books (there you go Chris and Maryanne, I listed one thing at least ;) ). Granted, I read what most would consider "fluff" books. My true love is the fantasy genre and I devour those books. I always have. So why is reading a tech book so difficult? I was thinking about this and I set up in bed last night laughing because I had stumbled across the answer. Reading a tech book is a lot like "Making a Baby" sex. (you can tell this is going to a fun post now can't you? Now just realize I mentioned "bed" in the previous sentence and see where your mind goes....).

Yep, reading a tech books is a whole heck of a lot like "Making a Baby" sex. Instead of just saying "Making a Baby" sex over and over again just to try and make you blush and giggle, how about I explain a little. I like sex. I think most of us do to some degree. If you have ever experienced "Making a Baby" sex however, you know that is a whole new beast. When you are trying to conceive, sex isn't necessarily a spontaneous fun activity. You might start out that way, but as the weeks and months go by and there's still no bun in the oven, things change. Now "Making a Baby" sex takes a new form. You mark sex on the calendar. There's gadgets and devices that tell you the "right" time to have sex. It becomes a thing you put on your to do list. Surprise, surprise, it gets tiring. You get worn out. You can only "read" so much in a day you know.

I found reading Code Complete to be a similar experience. I started out just reading the book just whenever. No pressure. I like reading, so completing the book would just come naturally. The weeks went by however and things came up. I didn't always find the right time to read. I wasn't making progress. Now I'm having to force myself to read. Scheduling a time to read. It's become a chore. Makes me tired.

So what's the plan? How am I going to make it through this month and complete it? The same way you struggle through "Make a Baby" sex. You keep your eye on the goal and you smile in those tough times because you remember how much it's worth all the work. I'm loving the things that I am reading in Code Complete and I know when I have that completed book on my shelf I'm going to feel really good. I'm sure reading tech books is still going to seem like a chore, but every chore is worth doing if the goal is worth it to you and I feel this one is. It's always good to remind yourself of "why" you are doing something to keep you motivated.

I am going to finish this book...and my wife is pregnant.

Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2007 8:41 AM The Brotherhood of Becoming Better Developers | Back to top


Comments on this post: Reading Tech Books is HARD!

# re: Reading Tech Books is HARD!
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Once your done with that, I would like to have a go at it.

...The book, not the wife.
Left by Jonathan on Jul 26, 2007 8:58 AM

# re: Reading Tech Books is HARD!
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I have Code Complete on my shelf (I recommend it for every developer) and have gone through part of it, but haven't yet made it through the entire book. Good thing it's the kind of book that you don't have to read from start to finish, but that you can open up, read a few pages, and learn something that you can probably use in the same week.
Left by Mike Ellis on Jul 26, 2007 10:26 AM

# re: Reading Tech Books is HARD!
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Dude - isn't this like your 100th baby? TIme to get those tubes knotted up I think :-) Maybe you should write a blog about making babies!

Seriously - congrats man...
Left by ZMan on Jul 26, 2007 10:59 AM

# re: Reading Tech Books is HARD!
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Well it is not so much reading tech books that is the trouble. But finding useful/insightfull/helpful ones.

One exeperience i had with one book. Was the Author went on about getting on with the book. Which he keept going on about for 5 chapters. So instead of getting on with it. He keep saying he was going to. A complete waste of cash and time.
Left by Steve on Jul 30, 2007 4:36 AM

# re: Reading Tech Books is HARD!
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I am shocked that you found Code Complete such a problematic book to go through! Truly if Steve McConnell were a hot Asian female I would desparately want "Stevina" to produce my children (fortunately my wife is just fine).

Congrats on your forthcoming addition to the Clingerman Army. Have you finished CC yet?

And where is "the post that will change everything"? You know exactly what I'm talking about buddy...YOU CAN'T RUN FROM IT
Left by Justice~! on Aug 14, 2007 11:24 AM

# re: Reading Tech Books is HARD!
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I m glad i found ur blog.Not everyone can provide information with proper flow. Good post. I am going to save the URL and will definitely visit again. Keep it up. thank you!
Left by cheap air max on Jun 05, 2011 9:03 AM

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