just change "perl" to "lisp"

Another brilliant post from XKCD - one of the very best webcomics around - and one that is so, SO true.

The general truthiness of this post is often something that high-school guidance counselors and well-meaning, tech-challenged parents can't quite wrap their brains around. That is: a person's ability to hammer out a few lines of code can be a total game-changer in the job market (even the stock market, depending on the specific nature of said code, of course).

This comes up here at the RENN just about every April, when two (2) things generally happen at once ...

1. college students are graduating and coming in for interviews, and
2. the Mercedes /AMG club comes to visit the RENN and eat donuts.

At some point, someone asks what kind of skills someone needs in order to "get started" in tuning (or "racing", etc.). This is usually a wife or girlfriend who is either making small talk (if part of group 1) or a teacher who is trying to dig up some kind of "study hard" lesson to take back home to her students (if part of group 2).

We always disappoint the teachers, of course.

Simply, there isn't a "take Performance-tuning 101 in college and hit the math books really hard in high school!" sort of answer - and the real answer takes school and teachers out of the equation altogether. That elusive, mysterious, and oh-so-very-real answer is this: self-directed learning.

It really is that simple - the answer to the "how to get started in tuning" question is: get started.

Start taking things apart, hacking your parent's PC, building potato batteries, and tinkering with dad's mower. Start voiding warranties and always look at different ways to do what you are doing and expose yourself to anything and everything automotive or mechanical. Visit sites like Gizmodo and Lifehacker and for the love of GOD teach yourself how to read hex and binary numbers. Start downloading different operating systems and write this down: by the time technical information makes its way to a textbook, it's 2 years out of date, and obsolete.

So, young grasshopper - go spend your winter break playing with WinOLS. We'll be looking for interns again in January.


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