I reread chunks of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers recently, especially the bit where he talks about the 10,000 hours estimate for achieving high-level proficiency in a field. I was thinking about that and calculating my own progress towards it - and what progress I can expect to make in 2010.
- My classes take up 6 hours a day (plus commute), every weekday, for 60 weeks - that’s 1,800 hours.
- To attain MCSE certification, based on the college’s estimates, takes an additional 300 hours.
- To attain CCNA certification, based on the college’s estimates, takes an additional 225 hours.
- To attain RHCE certification, based on the college’s estimates, takes an additional 300 hours.
Those are my goals for 2010 (which I allow to slop over into January 2011). What are the constraints?
- There are 168 hours in a week, and about 8760 hours in a year.
- My goals from above require putting in about 2400 hours of work related to my discipline over the course of the year, an average of just over 46 hours a week, or a little under 7 hours a day, every day.
It’s going to be a very busy year. While I’ll consider myself an enormous success if I attain all three certifications and finish up my work at the college on schedule, I’m well aware that that’s not the only possible outcome - and that the price of getting what I want is high. Also, my estimates for the time that things take is very optimistic - there’s writing and living to be done, time spent getting from place to place and taking care of the sack of meat that I trundle around in, time spent sleeping and time spent in the kitchen trying to get those first calories of the day so I can function.
So, basically I need to spend 2010 as a borderline monomaniac, always thinking about servers and clients and addresses and scopes and trusts and Kerberos and bind and grep and emacs and port 80 and apache and WSUS and LDAP and basically if I can still stand to look at a network after all that perhaps I belong in this industry after all.