Are Computer Programming Books Hard To Study?

Kathy Sierra a Java Instructor says that some authors are making their programming books harder than necessary because they are too focused on themselves instead of their readers.

At Sun, Kathy discovered that some techie instructors who know their stuff were getting poorer evaluations compared to their less skilled colleages.

The reason? The experts focused on proving their smartness instead of helping their students get smarter assuming that students want their instructors to establich their credibility by proving that they are experts.

Kathy spent a year proving that students don’t care much about expert status only about learning. She succeeded, got a bonus from Sun and became one of the top four most highly rated java instructors in north America.

This goes to validate one of the guidelines I follow with my coaching.

I believe that when my students complain about programming books being difficult to read or understand, they are right. They are really the smart ones and it is the author or writer of a difficult technical book who is dumb for writing hard to understand books.

It is a serious misconception in programming that computer books have to be hard in order to impress readers. Actually excellent computer books should be the easiest to understand.

Computer books and their techie authors should be evaluated on “their ease of reading” and not on “how techie or difficult content is”.

Read the rest of Kathy’s post about computer instructors, authors and books here.

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