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"Experience Is Overrated" - Linus Torvalds

I met Linus Torvalds! Well, actually it was just a conference, but a very special one…

Linus Torvalds at GSoC Reunion.

After Google Summer of Code I got invited by Google to attend the Google Summer of Code 10 year anniversary: 3 days of fun activities, unconference sessions and talks in San Jose, CA, USA.

Two big names, among others: Linus Torvalds and Peter Norvig. And two things stuck in my mind.

Experience is overrated

Linus Torvalds was asked how he could write the Linux kernel when he was just a young inexperienced software engineer. And that is how he replied: “Experience is somehow overrated…”

Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years

Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google, made fun of books like “Teach Yourself C++ in 10 Days”. He said it takes 10 years to deeply understand a programming language: in ten days or a month or six months a Java developer f.i. could only learn C++ syntax and write Java-like code with C++ syntax.

So, learning a programming language is a long process… we’d better start early!