Download the skill set you desire

Trinity from The Matrix holding a pistol extended with the nozzle extending just out of the frame

IBM has started releasing a new set of offerings they are calling "Skill kits" built on their Toolkit for Custom and Reusable Solution Information. The kits themselves are packages of reference information their developers have identified as being valuable to a given topic. This content is then assembled into a single package for easy consumption via a mini web server that runs locally on your machine.

When I've been working in a new language or dealing with part of a language I haven't used in a long time, I go straight to the web and search for what I need. After years of doing this, I'm pretty good at getting to what I need quickly but the fact that I'm searching the open web has a few main drawbacks:

The Skill Kits idea avoids the first two issues completely and if you have the proper version, the third issue dissolves as well. The last issue about only partial solutions being available will depend on the depth of the kit that is assembled. Once it hits a certain level, even if it doesn't have specific answers, it will provide the framework for developing the answer.

Right now, there is only one kit listed: Project Zero WebSphere sMash skill kit, but I expect there will be at least a few more on the way. Of course, it wouldn't have to be limited to programming. Just about any topic could be put into the framework. Even though there is very little difference between these kits and a really good reference/tutorial site, I love the idea. Of course, this could also be the basis for building a system like Trinity used in The Matrix to learn how to fly a Huey by downloading flight skills directly into her brain. Just gotta figure out where to plug in the wires.