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Run Away From Information!

In the past people would go to professionals because of the lack of information. Now they go to profies because of its abundance. This happens everywhere. If 20 years ago you had stomachache, you’d go to a doctor. Today, you go to Google to find out what helped other people when they had stomachache. After spending several hours trying to narrow down the symptoms so they’d match yours, you’d give up and go to the doctor. OK, I can understand such a pattern.

But people don’t stop there. This is how it works more often than not:

1. Got stomachache.
2. Go to Google.com and enter “I got stomachache”.
3. Several hours later, call your doctor and make an appointment.
4. Visit your doctor and get the prescription for XYZin to be taken twice a day.
5. Go to Google.com and enter “XYZin”. Confirm that it helped to most of the people with stomachache. Pretend that you haven’t even seen those two nasty posts about a cousin Vinnie why died from XYZin and about the little Mary who’s still in coma after taking three pills of this medicine.
6. Go to the pharmacy, get XYZin and take it once a day – people on Google say it’s good enough.

Am I right or am I right, honestly?

Yesterday, I started teaching my online Java class. There are tons and tons of free online Java tutorials, videos, blog posts, and inexpensive books. But still, thirty people from around the world decided to pay $500+ each so I’d be leading them through this humongous waterfall of the information so they could get from zero to hero the most efficient way. Needless to say, that before enrolling into my class all these people spend hours studying my credentials before parting with their hard earned money. Fine. I can respect this.

For each of my groups I create and online forum so students can communicate and help each other. One of the first messages posted in this forum was a list of links to various online tutorials and videos of other Java lecturers. Some of the people also asked me to review those links and provide my opinion if they are useful or not.

Dear students, during the last 15 years I’ve read, watched, analyzed, wrote, commented, responded to comments, presented on anything and everything related to Java. I’ve sifted through all this information, squeezed it out and created my own concentrated and healthy Java juice. I successfully tought Java to a couple of thousand of people. Please take my XYZin. You won’t be disappointed.


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More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).