The Extreme Mentality

What is “Extreme?”  What should it be?

I know what it isn’t.  “Extreme” isn’t about adrenaline-fueled stunts or other risky endeavors.  You won’t find me programming in a tent hung off the side of El Capitan or doing calculus while bungee jumping.  No – here, the notion of “extreme” is about dedicating yourself fully to the craft, never settling for mediocrity, and embracing the rigorous path to mastery.  That is what I hope to espouse through the writings on this website – and it is what I hope to motivate you to pursue for yourself.

What’s “Extreme?”

To be Extreme means exemplifying five pillars: decisiveness, commitment, thoroughness, resoluteness, and determination.


To be Extreme is to decide and then act rather than bouncing around one’s chosen field of endeavor like an anxious dilettante.  Decisiveness, then, is the foundational principle of the Extreme Computing methodology: the capacity to make a decision and then act upon it.  As legendary football quarterback Peyton Manning once said: “Anyone who waits for someone else to make a change automatically becomes a follower.”


At Extreme Computing, I believe in diving deep and immersing myself fully in whatever I do.  This means dedicating the time, energy, and resources needed to truly understand and excel in my fields of endeavor.  It’s not about superficial engagement; it’s about a wholehearted commitment to my goals.  As Australian racing driver Peter Brock once said: “Bite off more than you can chew, then chew like hell.”


In an age that celebrates and values the quick fix and the shortcut, I stand by the value of thoroughness.  I take the time to explore subjects in depth, ensuring that I grasp not only the “how” but also the “why” that undergirds every concept.  This meticulous approach ensures a solid foundation in everything I do.  As the racing driver Ayrton Senna once said: “You do something very well or not at all.”


I reject the notion of “good enough.”  Whether it’s learning a new mathematical concept, tackling a complex algorithm, or analyzing a large dataset, I strive for a deeper understanding and higher quality in my work.  To put it in the words of legendary football coach Robert Neyland: “Hate and abhor the scrimmage line; it is a restraining mark.”


I also reject the notion of giving up just because the going gets tough.  If I did that, I wouldn’t learn anything, wouldn’t finish any projects, and wouldn’t get anywhere in life.  To put it in the words of General Neyland: “If the game is going against you, keep your head up, set your jaw, and dig in.  This is what tests the stuff you are made of.”

Okay.  Why “Extreme?”

When you think of “extreme,” you might think of a daredevil or a thrill-seeker – a racing driver, skydiver, or bungee-jumper, among others.  While we appreciate their derring-do, and while we definitely enjoy the occasional tongue-in-cheek nod to extreme sports (like Extreme Ironing), my brand of extremity is different.  It’s about:

  • Pushing boundaries.  Challenging myself to go beyond the basics and to explore the edges of what’s possible.
  • Setting high standards.  Holding myself to a rigorous standard and not being afraid of aiming high.
  • Inspiring others.  If I can do this, anyone can.  With dedication and hard work, anyone can achieve great things.

The Journey Ahead

As you explore Extreme Computing, you’ll find resources, articles, and guides that reflect my philosophy.  Each piece of content is crafted with care, designed to help you dive deeper, learn more thoroughly, and achieve your own version of excellence.

Join me on my journey of relentless improvement and wholehearted commitment.  Whether you’re a fellow technologist, a career changer, or simply a passionate autodidact, I’m here to support you every step of the way.  Together, let’s redefine what it means to be “extreme.”