Teach Yourself Programming in 10 Years(essay) - by Peter Norvig


You may not agree with everything he says here… but nonetheless, it’s an interesting read:

(Command-Line Ninja) #2

I absolutely agree that theres no need to rush. And learning my doing does work really well as well. Thats how I learnt.


Thankyou for sharing that! I think that is something that I myself and many other noobs very likely need to read.


Welcome. I think I personally subscribe to the 10,000 hours model a bit more. That works out at a solid 1 year and 51 days of actually doing the thing in a focused, challenging way… coding, playing the instrument etc. This might make someone think that they should spend every waking hour coding, or hacking, or whatever… but I don’t think that sounds healthy or beneficial. Keeping your mind and body in good condition with plenty of sleep, a good diet and regular exercise will pay off just as many dividends in the end, as your practice, and you’ll live longer to enjoy your mastery! (Plus you’ll actually have a life: joy: ) But to each their own I suppose.


Programming does not obey the 10,000 hour rule.

While you can learn it in either an hour or a week, you can never master it because of Moore’s law. There will always be new problems and new programs to write, new equations to solve. You might master one language in 10 years, but during that time 100 others will take its place.

(oaktree) #6

Are gods born overnight? Nope. Neither are good programmers, if you ask me…

You definitely need a solid year of experience before you can really write good code – and, there is a huge learning curve.


Interesting read for sure. Although you were right, there were some parts that many if not all the people on this thread disagreed with. As much as I respect the people commenting above, I can’t help but think that how a person learns programming is entirely up to him/her. I mean some people just find it easier and can get one down in around a month, and some find it a it hard and it’d take 'em around a year to learn all the complexities and sort of get their own feel for it. As much as many people think “this is a programming language”, people have to also understand “this is an art form” something I believe programming is. To compare, some people can just draw terrific and learn it quickly, while others may need to be persistent with how and when they learn it. I bet some of you may be reading this and thinking “mate, what the hell does learning art have to do with programming?” Alright - alright, calm yerselves. I’m getting there. See my point is that like many skills (art which we used back there for example), all depend on how the artist (or the programmer in this case) learn and do their craft. And how the artist learns is completely up to him. Although the end result I’m sure is always completely beautiful. Many of you might be thinking “well how would they know what’s best for them” and in my mind the answer is simple. See we’re hackers, and computer enthusiasts. Our entire craft is based off of us tinkering and learning from scratch from something we don’t know anything about. And same could be said for programmers. So in the end thank you for reading, and even giving some of your time to reading my “2 cents” on this, and I hope y’all have a good day.