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Rapid Learning for the 21st Century
By Steve Litt 
Cover in PDF viewer Price: $11.95

Availability: Usually emailed within 48 hours of receipt of electronic payment or check and order form.

PDF (EBook), 136 pages

As a technologist, you use many more technologies and many more tools than did the technologists of the last decade. Technologies and tools obsolete in a matter of months these days. So do technologists.

Employer provided training is a relic of the 20th century. Employers want to hire fully trained people -- making room by laying off seasoned employees. And of course, when the employer changes technologies, those new hires are laid off.

It gets worse. You can be laid off just for being more expensive, or less tolerant of employer abuse, than an H1-B substitute. Disney replaced a 200+ member IT department with H1-B's fielded by an outsourcer. Don't believe me, read it here and here. I'd like to say Disney is an exception, but this stuff happens all the time, including a recent layoff at Southern California Edision.

After years of good work, your employer could throw you into the unemployment line, from which only a few regain their former employment status and compensation any time soon. One way to be part of that few is the ability to instantly learn new technologies, as fully described in "Rapid Learning for the 21st Century".

Rapid Learning is a terminology-first, experimentational method for lightning fast learning. Perhaps you'd prefer to call it "just in time learning". This book gives you all the tools: The technology glossary and sources for new terminology. Terminology diagramming. Incremental/differential learning and associated troubleshooting. And just to make sure you really understand Rapid Learning, this book's appendix contains a 35 page, real-world Rapid-Learning session you can follow along, or even reproduce on a computer. When you emerge from that appendix, you'll be ready for anything the workplace can throw at you.

Let's say you hear of an opportunity with an unfamiliar technology. You learn enough of it that night to discuss it literately. The next day you make your move on the opportunity, and learn to work with it in the next few days. When the position is filled a week later, it's yours, because you're the candidate who's fully trained and can prove it.

If you're securely employed, Rapid Learning helps you stay that way, and helps you advance your career. If your employment situation is shaky, Rapid Learning improves your value to your current employer, and to enables you to express your value to potential employers. If you're currently unemployed, Rapid Learning is how you rise to the top of the unemployed masses, grabbing a job from your competition and hitting the ground running.

But I'm the wrong age/gender/race!

The prejudice in the IT world is a poorly kept secret. Such prejudice should be repudiated and abolished. But until it is, if you're the wrong age, gender, race, religion, or college degree status, you'll need to live and prosper in this prejudiced world. Some employers don't discriminate, and offer employment to the most skilled. If in the out crowd, these are the jobs you need to go after. Everyone else is going after these jobs too, so Rapid Learning helps you rise to the top and capture the job.

Another benefit: When our society finally throws off the shackles of prejudice and IT becomes a true meritocracy, the world will be your oyster. Armed with lots of skills and ability to learn new ones in days instead of months, you'll rise right to the top of the heap.

You're welcome

I regularly receive email thanking me for writing the book that enabled the writer to get a job, switch jobs, or advance in his new job. After you buy this book, I just might be receiving such an email from you.

About this Book

This book is 136 pages. Here is the table of contents:

Chapter 1. The Quick and the Dead1
         Yesterday's Learning Methods1
         Today's Learning Method3
         The Global Economy4
         Labor Mobility and Interchangeability4
         Staying Ahead5
         Getting Ahead6
Chapter 2. Here's How You Learn Fast7
         Overview of the Rapid Learning Process9
         Where Rapid Learning Works Best10
Chapter 3. Building Your Terminology Glossary13
         Warning: Do Not Violate Copyright15
         Glossary Format16
         The Power of Terminology17
         What To Look For18
         Where to Hear New Terminology20
         Where to Find Definitions22
         How Much Description To Include28
         How To Practice28
Chapter 4. Terminology Diagramming31
         Types Of Terminology Diagrams31
         The Structure of a Terminology Diagram37
         Why Terminology Diagrams Are So Powerful37
         Making Your Diagram37
Chapter 5. Incremental/Differential Learning Overview43
         First Do No Harm44
         From the Familiar to the Unknown44
         The Power of the POC45
         Example Proofs of Concept 47
         The Purpose of an Increment52
         Why is it called Incremental Learning?55
         Why is it called Differential Learning?55
         Optimal Increments, Review and Documentation55
Chapter 6. Optimal Increments57
         Choosing the Optimal Step Size58
         Choosing Between A Proof of Concept and an Increment59
         Curiosity Driven Learning61
         Increment by Reverse Engineering61
Chapter 7. Research Tips67
         The Internet is Your Friend67
         Searching Error Messages70
         Friends and User Groups71
         Books and other printed matter74
Chapter 8. Troubleshooting For the Rapid Learner77
         Adopt the Correct Attitude79
         The Ten Steps83
         Bottleneck Analysis88
Chapter 9. Review91
         The Proof Is In The Toggle92
         This Step Clarifies The Knowledge92
Chapter 10. Documentation93
         Now How Did I Do That?93
         Rapid Learning Documentation Makes You Look Like a Genius94
         The Intended Audience94
         This Step Cements The Knowledge94
         HTML Is Handy For Recording And Lookup95
         Pro Move: Publish Your Documentation95
         WARNING: Avoid Copyright Violations95
Chapter 11. Now Do It97
         The Benefits of Rapid Learning99
Appendix A. Example: SSH101
         Acquire Terminology102
         Hello World104
         Increments: Remote X and Remote Commands104
         Curiosity Driven Learning106
         More On Public-Key Cryptography107
         SSH Public-key Encryption Experiments119
         Summary and Lessons Learned134
Index 138

The first hundred pages of this book cover every step of the Rapid Learning process. You're given tips to make it the Rapid Learning Proces more effective. The following graphic is a flowchart of the Rapid Learning Process:

Top level Rapid Learning Process flowchartTerminology learning flowchart
Incremental/differential learning flowchart

The Appendix goes through an actual Rapid Learning session, showing you how the Rapid Learning process is applied to a real technology (SSH keys in this case). Don't worry if you don't know what SSH keys are. You'll learn while reading the Appendix. More importantly, you'll learn real-world Rapid Learning techniques.

We live in interesting times. Recession, outsourcing, offshoring, disposable employees. The unemployment line is just a new technology away.

We live in interesting times. New technology constantly brings new opportunities. When you hear of an opportunity, show up at the meeting or job interview completely knowledgeable, and ready to work. Read this book tonight!