“Learn C in 7 Days!”
“Learn Java in 24 Hours!”
“Learn Python in 90 Minutes!”
You’ve probably seen this before, the programmer’s version of 8 Minute Abs. It’s pretty much always been around in all kinds of books, courses, presentations, videos, and blogs. The time span generally ranges from weeks to minutes, with the shortest I’ve seen being a brisk 5 minutes flat. Which, you gotta admit, is pretty ballsy. I mean, you’re telling me you can teach someone a programming language in the time it takes me to make toast? You’re giving Bradley Cooper a run for his money at that point.
To be fair, this feat is almost possible if you squint and tilt your head. For example, I’ll bet a gifted programmer with a decade of experience and several similar languages under their belt can in fact skim over enough material in a matter of minutes with sufficient comprehension to more or less “learn” the language.
In this case however it’d be more accurate to say they learned the language in a decade, with just the most recent 30 minutes or whatever having been allocated to the book in question. And of course these books and other media are often intended for and marketed towards beginners, not experts.
Now, one could argue this marketing ploy is beneficial in that it entices hesitant learners to jump into the material. But from the learner’s perspective it’s a short term gain for a long term loss, and once the initial motivation wears off and unrealistic expectations slam into reality, the dejected learner is in a worse place than where they started. I understand that it’s marketing and that it shouldn’t be taken literally, but education entails building a relationship, and a misleading title is a bad way to start that off.
But I’m morbidly curious, what’s the shortest time you’ve seen advertised for learning a language or some other technical knowledge base? Anything under 5 minutes?