Thursday, December 31, 2015

Don't learn X

All too often, on various forums I see someone asking something like "Convince me to learn X".   I'm immediately tempted to simply answer "Don't learn it" .... and be prepared to be downvoted into oblivion.

Almost invariably, learning X will take some time ... a lot of time if you are to learn it well.

If you are not willing to spend a much, much smaller amount of time finding out on your own if X is worth learning, then you definitely won't find the time to learn it.

If you do not have the time to figure out from what's already available about whether or not it's worth learning X, why should I expect that you will give any weight to my opinion? Why should I spend my time writing down reasons as to why you should learn it?

If your question is a vague "Should I learn X or Y?", then it will only give rise to some quasi-religious wars between fans of X and fans of Y, reflecting only the readership of that forum.

If you want to know if it would be better to learn X or Y to accomplish a specific task, then it is a different question, which may very well deserve an answer based on the specificity of the task.

However, if you want to know if you should learn X ... do everyone a favour and simply start learning it: you will soon be able to decide on your own if you should pursue or not.   And if you do not like this answer, then "Don't learn X".

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