I’ve never cared much for the Java programming language. Nonetheless, I do most of my programming in these days in it, and as long as we’re basing our IDE on Eclipse, that seems unlikely to change any time soon. So I might as well broaden my understanding of it.
That’s my official rationale for working toward the Sun Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) designation, anyway. What it really boils down to, though, is that as a “human resource” at a publicly-traded multinational corporation I am encouraged to be “developed” in measurable ways; a certificate being the classic corporate sign of personal development.
I, of course, have had the opportunity to pursue this designation for years, but I never bothered. The prospect of studying a programming language that I don’t care for from some bland official study guide struck me as masochistic, if not suicidal.
But this year, as I purused the field of training programs and certificates, I discovered that the standard study guide, which I expected to be a mediocre compilation of dry, witless docuspeak from a committe of interns and Sun programmers who are no longer (or perhaps never were) trusted to write real code, is in fact co-authored by the lively and witful author of the Creating Passionate Users, Kathy Sierra. This was a scale-tipping discovery for me. I may be studying something that I’m not especially passionate about, but at least I can expect the learning to be interesting.
What’s the point? I would never have persued an SCJP certificate if I wasn’t already familiar with Kathy Sierra’s blog. Hugh MacLeod is absolutely right when he writes,
blogs are good for making things happen indirectly.
Rah! Rah! Blogs! And all that.