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This question may be a bit vague and open for discussion, but today I've been trying to work out what to start doing.

I work as a professional programmer (as do, at a guess, 90% of you lot) but its not exactly challenging, so I am switching jobs to a more hardcore development company. Although I think this will help improve my skills, I want to go all the way to the top, I want to know everything and be considered a master of my chosen languages / skills.

I want to know what the roadmap is to becoming a master of a (any) skill. Is the answer really just buying every book possible and studying? Doing personal projects?

What can I do to boost my skills in the most efficient way possible?

How do I go from Journeyman to Master?

{ asked by Adam }


Judging from the research of Robert Greene, desire and time seems to be crucial components when trying to become a master of something:

We all know how much more deeply we learn when we are motivated. If a subject excites us, if it stirs our deepest curiosity, or if we have to learn because the stakes are high, we pay much more attention. What we absorb sinks in. If we find ourselves in France needing to learn the language, or suddenly in love with a French woman who speaks little English, we can learn more in a few months than four years of French classes, no matter how good the teacher. In other words, our level of focus will determine the depth of our learning. If we multiply such deep concentration over enough time, we can master anything.

Greene's top advice:

  1. Look inward. The trade you are mastering has to stir your interest and make you excited about the future.
  2. Have faith in the learning process. Keep believing in the rewards down the road, the powers and skills that will come through practice and discipline.
  3. Develop as many skills as possible. Combine forms of knowledge and different skills.
{ answered by Gruber }