The greatest source of satisfaction for me outside of my family is learning new things. This has made my choice to pursue a career in software development fortunate. In fact, a major source of discontent in a job is when I stop learning, but it also leads to the problem of turning a blind eye to organizational problems if I am learning.
I enjoy learning about software development so much that I’ve learned many languages and techniques that I have never and will never use in my job. I read a book on Ada in college and have never executed an actual line of it. I read a bunch of the Dylan documentation and even wrote some code for the simulator if I remember correctly. I’ve read the XP book and plenty of other methodology books and never worked in an organization that should have claimed it did anything but ad hoc software development.
Although the majority of my learning focus is on software development I also do a great deal of study in the area of personal development and one of the ideas I have run across is the difference between data and information. Data is just facts and figures while information is data that has context, meaning, and usefulness. I would consider the languages and methodologies I studied to be data. Since I haven’t actually put them in practice they aren’t any more useful than the dates of random historic events. I want to get in the habit of making what I learn useful; turn the data into information.
What I’m going to do is write (and possibly make videos) about what I’m learning. I’d like to turn this writing into a book or course of some sort. In my mind this would be the perfect combination of turning my love for learning into a source of income.