It’s an exercise plan for my brain!
Time constraints have prevented me from writing blog entries recently (though I do have several entries I’m trying to shape into something readable). And recently I’ve gotten a number of technical books as door prizes at recent User Group meetings that I’d like to start making more use of. What to do?
One of my key concepts for this blog has been to provide actual content in each entry – make them worth reading, but it is hard to do that without time. I’ve already done a couple of book reviews on some shorter books, but I also don’t want to turn this into an all-book-review blog, or just regurgitate what I have read.
So I have come up with a solution. I have a Twitter account, @dlairman, for posts of a less substantial nature (as that is what micro-blogging is!). I’ll be reading a chapter a day from various books (mostly technical in nature) and posting what I am reading on Twitter. Follow me to follow along, and if you have comments, you can post them here or can reply on Twitter.
And if you are in a more participatory frame of mind, you can join in the fun by using the Twitter tag #ACADKTRAB and talk about what you are reading.
“So what is the point of all of this?” I hear you ask. Back when I was unemployed, I had lots of time to learn new skills and refresh my training in a number of areas. And while there is little that can beat the training from actual experience (which, now that I’m employed again, I can get as much as I can take), often the work keeps me focused only on satisfying the requirements – anything outside of the scope is, naturally, unlikely to be something I’m going to get experience in.
With all of the demands on my time now, it can be hard for me to commit to large undertakings, and it can be tempting to put off the reading of huge, dense technical volumes. But a single chapter is not such a large commitment, and the enforced discipline of doing one every day means that I (and you too, if you join in) will be sure to continually make progress and learn new things. Plus, by doing this in the “chapter a day” format, I can mix and match books if I want and give myself some variety. And it will get me back to using Twitter more regularly.
Here is a list of my target books to start with:
Building the SharePoint User Experience (Bjørn Furuknap) [Apress 2009]
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Best Practices (Bill English) [MS Press 2008]
Shortcut Guide to Centralized SharePoint Administration (Wendy Henry) [Realtime 2009]
The Business Analyst’s Handbook (Howard Podeswa) [Cengage Learning 2009]
The Front Line Guide to Thinking Clearly (Woodrow H. Sears) [HRD Press 2007]
Tune in to Twitter for the latest update!