In late 2017, I was struggling to understand some of the core concepts underlying DevOps technologies. I knew deep down that I simply did not have time to sit and read traditional books. Some of you are saying this is an excuse. With a full time job, a wife that works full time, and a 1-year-old daughter at the time, it just wasn't going to happen. Both my wife and I are regular gym-goers and aren't willing to sacrifice that. Many of you have followed me on the web for years and know how much I contribute to the community, and I'm not willing to tune that down, either. I had to find a way to keep expanding my knowledge without investing more time.

First, I tried podcasts. I found a popular DevOps podcast. I had high hopes, but was quickly turned off when the podcasters, within 10 minutes of the episode starting, veered far off course. The conversation went from technology to the biological differences between men and women ... and after 5 full minutes of irrelevant and unactionable banter, I wrote them off. How could anyone enjoy listening to this nonsense?

Next, I tried audiobooks. This is the single best decision I have made in all of 2017. Through 2018, I read approximately 100 books (including re-reads) for a total of 37 days listening time. That's more than 10% of the total time in a year, roughly 900 hours. Here's why I love audiobooks:

Some critics claim that if you are engaged in another activity, say, folding laundry, then listening to an audiobook while doing it is less effective than deep, focused reading. That's probably true. It's most definitely true when listening to highly technical or nuanced content. My point is to capitalize on the time you've already invested by adding in some educational value. Just read the book 2 or 3 times to compensate. Don't overthink it. It's free to re-read them, both in terms of money and time. You'll be surprised how much time you spend commuting, doing chores, and other activities that leave your ears (and frankly, your mind) ready for action.

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