Go watch this now.
Or if you need to know why, read on.
I'm not a huge computer manual reader. Actually, I'm not a big non-fiction reader at all any more.
I find myself only buying books for topics on which I know very little and I KNOW that I know so little that I won't be able to evaluate the quality of information on the Internet.
Mostly I'm not a reader because I find it inneficient. When I read, I'm really just scanning for ideas, gems of useful data to add to my understanding of topics. Rarely do I get attached to a book, or its author.
So I never much got in to hero worship of bands (I tend to like single songs) or fiction authors (I tend to like individual books) or actors (again, individual movies) or developers. For example, I think Perl Best Practices is great, but half or more of the modules Damien wrote for it suck. But then I know how they suck (they were rushed) and I know why (which I won't talk about), so I won't harp on about it.
Recently I discovered that the Computer History museum has put up a bunch of videos onto Google Video of various people speaking between 2000 and 2005, and since I only use my laptop at work for music, TV and video I thought I'd take a look.
So I've been working through them while coding.
While some are not amazingly interesting except for historical purposes (Steve Wozniak about the Apple 2) I found the talk by Eric Schmidt (formerly Sun, now at Google) incredibly enlightening.
And I highly recommend that every developer should watch it. He talks about how every generation makes the same mistakes, and compares the last couple of generations of mistakes with the mistakes we are making right now.
I've since found myself looking at some of the work I'm doing with Module::Install, CPAN.pm and so on in an entirely new light. I've noticed the mistakes we are making now, and I see how a bunch of Perl things fit together in the much larger scale.
And even though he didn't address it, everything I've seen Google do makes sense now. And Skype makes sense, and PHP makes sense (no really).
But more on that later. For now, go watch the video and learn about all the ways you are currently screwing up.
And for anyone doing CPAN or networkingy modules, pay close attention to the bit on the golden rules of networking.