Because I had to.

Published Apr 26, 2014

I gave an extremely short demo of a pair of OpenBSD routers in a redundant setup using CARP. Someone asked me afterwards why I learned about this and my answer was, essentially, because I had to. I thought it was an interesting question since I never get asked why I learned something.

I learn a bunch of stuff. Why? Why learn C? It was taught in school. I had to. Why learn JavaScript? Well, again, it was taught in school so I had to. Why learn about databases? Because I had to. Why learn about virtualization? Because I had to. Why learn about BSD? Because I had to. Why learn about sFlow? Because I had to.

Notice a pattern?

I’m not a fan of learning for the sake of learning. I describe my learning as happening just-in-time. I learn when I have to.

But I’m a math major. Why learn math? Do I have to? Nope. Wait a second, didn’t I just contradict myself? I’m not learning when I have to? Well, not really :). Let’s go back to why I had to learn about Linux. I wanted to build websites, and when I asked my dad how to do it, he told me I had to use Linux (which wasn’t the right answer, but it doesn’t matter). Why did I want to build websites? No, I didn’t have to. I was around 11 years old. I just did stuff.

It paid off.

I’m learning math because I think it will pay off.

There’s a lot to learn. A lot. I could just sit and learn everything there is to know about something but I wouldn’t have time to actually do something.