Now that my book Mastering PostgreSQL in Application Development is released (and selling well, thanks guys!), I’ve had some questions about the title.
The idea is that to become good at anything, we need to practice. We practice a lot, and it’s even better when we are actively trying to learn, following what’s named deliberate practice.
If you think about learning martial arts or maybe learning to play a musical instrument, then it’s easier to realize what lies behind the name Mastering: daily deliberate practice will lead you to master your art. Also, you don’t get to skip a difficult movement or learn a piece of music except for that part in the middle that is a little too complex. You make progress by practicing until you master every aspect of what you are learning.
The whole idea behind the concept of Mastering as a path to a better learning process is nicely explained in the following Ted Talk by Sal Khan:
Would you choose to build a house on top of an unfinished foundation? Of course not. Why, then, do we rush students through education when they haven’t always grasped the basics? Yes, it’s complicated, but educator Sal Khan shares his plan to turn struggling students into scholars by helping them master concepts at their own pace.
So as the Ted Talk title puts it, Let’s teach for mastery — not tests scores:
Now, if you’re interested in SQL and PostgreSQL, consider buying Mastering PostgreSQL in Application Development. I’m going to spoil the very last lines of it here… which are actually a quote:
Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.
— Anton Chekhov
So once you’ve bought the book, and read through it, then remember what the title actually means. You get to practice. Again and again. That’s how the book is going to be of value to you!