Jennifer Dewalt recently finished her challenge and created 180 websites in 180 days. Kudos to her!
But I don't read enough.
Sure I probably
spendwaste upwards of two hours a day reading things online, but that's like fast food for the brain. Whenever I hit something deeply interesting that will take more than five minutes to read I just close the tab after five paragraphs.
I'm a terribly slow reader too. Last time I measured it took me half an hour to read 10 pages of Hemingway. Part of the problem is that I like reading books when I'm comfortable and then I keep dozing off no matter how much fun I'm having.
Books are out of the question then. I read three or four per year, start reading six, buy eight, and that's good enough.
But I've always loved reading academic papers. Those bastions of bleeding edge research, the ten page blogpost of a scientist and their team, written in that loving academic drone of a voice, with all the chest-thumping fancy words so you don't even think to doubt the author's intelligence.
In my experience it takes some three to four hours of furrowed eyebrows and meaningful grunts before you understand a serious academic paper enough to explain it. Six if it's not from your field. Eight if it's biology.
Biology is hard okay.
But it's effort well spent! I have never walked away from an academic paper without having learned something deeply interesting and insightful.
The challenge: Read and explain one paper per week for a year. 52 papers, 52 weeks.
I am going to read papers from all fields. Sometimes this is going to mean extended research to figure out the backstory, other times it will be simple. But I don't know where to find all those papers.
If you have an interesting paper you've been meaning to get to, but just haven't found the time. I am your man! Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️