In the last post of the year I’ll talk about knowledge and how we are continuously learning. The idea of the topic comes from a Packt Publishing offer: selling books for Xmas for $5.
It doesn’t matter our job, it’s changing, so we’ve to evolve too. In fact, I don’t know any job that you don’t have to improve your skills continuously usually due to technology improvements. That’s why I’ve always believed that we have to learn during all our life. In fact I also like to learn things that have nothing to do with my career.
But how way learn has changed a lot. Before Internet people had to go to libraries and get some books. With Internet, a lot of information has been available. First in personal blogs, later on online communities like SQLServerCentral or StackOverflow. I remember the first time I found SQLServerCentral, that I was amazed by the high quality of its articles and comments. I learned a lot.
Last year a workmate show me Coursera and I other MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) like Khan Academy, Codecademy, edX and Udacity. That’s a very big step. I made some really great courses in Coursera:
In general all courses are free, but you can find at Udacity some courses that you’ve to pay for them.
This is a very important point: if the courses are free what is really valuable is your time. If you learn below what you expect, you can just stop doing it. If you pay for it, probably you’ll continue doing it even if it’s not as good as you would desire. Once I paid for one and I couldn’t finish it: I was loosing my time, but I had already lost my money. Probably the future is having the two or three weeks free at the beginning of the courses, so you can decide if it is worth paying it or not.
And now it comes Packt Publishing with this offer: any e-book for $5. I wouldn’t have believed some years ago to have books at $5. Of course it’s an e-book, not a physical book, but it’s acknowledgment for very little money compared to some years ago. May be other publishers will join with this kind of offers. Sell a lot for a low-cost or sell much less for a more expensive price.
Anyway, knowledge and learning is very important nowadays. Now there’s no barriers. Everybody can learn.