I am BARRY HESS > Blog

Re-Education of a Computer Scientist

I’m getting excited to delve into SICP, even though my start time is a few months off. A buddy has decided to join me in the process of digging through this book that is both an introduction to computer science and centering point for those that are experienced. Reading through Amazon reviews has been quite entertaining as this is pretty much a 5-star or 1-star book. Very little in-between.

I have (nearly) convinced my supervisor to allow me to read the book as part of my “development plan.” The biggest sticky wicket is providing a point of practical application for the knowledge, which is based on a purely theoretical text. I’m a little unnerved by that requirement when my employer is only offering me around five hours of work time to dig into the text. We’ll see how that pans out.

My study “group” will be meeting every two sections to rehash what we went over and discuss any questions or comments we may have. I’m considering starting a blog, or using my “notes blog,” to track any thoughts I have on the text. Perhaps I’d do more traditional note taking and transfer the information to a blog when it became convenient.

As I’ve surfed around for resources I’ve found a couple pretty interesting resource sites. There are 30 GB of videos of lectures by the authors of the book. The lectures were given in 1986. Additionally, this semester’s session of Berkeley’s CS 61A is going through the book starting today. Near as I can tell, every lecture given will be available for free at Berkeley’s webcast site. I’m sorry, but that’s really cool.