Samstag, 22. März 2014

Becoming a Wizard - Studying "Structure And Interpretation Of Computer Programs"

A while ago I was listening to some interview on software engineering radio. The person interviewed said that he is shocked about so many programmers nowadays haven't heard about what he believes is one of the most influential programing books ever written: "Structure And Interpretation Of Computer Programs" (SICP) - also called the wizard book:

Well - he would have been shocked by me as well. SICP is apparently one of those books which one should have read in programmers life - or better worked through. SICP is teaching not a particular programing language but how to program. It is more about the bigger picture.

The book seams to be popular in the US since many universities are using it as the basis for their own lectures. Here in Germany SICP is rather unknown.

After I got my own copy of the book I started reading. After a while I felt that I should not read but properly study this book. An Internet search brought me then to UC Berkley and their variant of the course. It is based on SICP but is using Python as teaching language (instead of Scheme in the original version).

For each term, UC Berkley is providing all study material online, including a complete set of screencasts of the lectures. For me, sitting in Germany and working full time, this is a fantastic way of participating at the lectures to a convenient time, learning at my own pace.

My personal project for the next couple of months is to finish this course, doing most of the homework and also trying to do some project work - being a proper nerd.

Since I'm not enrolled I won't earn a certificate or something similar - but my intend is to gain a broader understanding of programing - not an other piece of paper.

This will be fun :-)

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