I just finished reading the book “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, in the book Gladwell tries to explain the reason why some people have had success, in most of the cases, success means making a lot of money. We believe success is determined by skills, and hard work, but according to Gladwell it’s more than that, having a high IQ doesn’t guarantee success, and supposedly there is no difference in people with IQ’s above 130, they all can be as smart as the others given the right circumstances, success is determined by having the right opportunities and taking out the most of them.
In the list of persons the book talks about, lie 2 programmers, Bill Gates and Bill Joy. The book states that to master your work, you need 10,000 hours of practice, and it’s after those 10,000 hours of practice that this people made their greatest works. Bill Gates wrote windows after having 10,000, and Bill Joy wrote Berkley unix after having 10,000 hours of programming. It also states that the reason they were so successful is because they were born in a period where really few people had access to a computer, computing time was charged for around $60 an hour, but they were lucky enough to get access to computers and accumulate their 10,000 hours of practice, this refers to the fact about success being determined by having the right opportunities. If this is true, then nowadays we should have lots of great programmers, since right now it’s a lot easier to get access to a computer. I know we have a lot more programmers but I’m not sure if they are great programmers, I only know few people that I could say that they are great at programming. I started programming at a very young age but I don’t know if I have more than 10,000 hours programming, probably not, otherwise I would have created a killer app already. Anyway, I just found the association curious, and it’s a great book if you want to read it.