Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar: Self-Education and the Pursuit of Passion

“A buccaneer scholar is anyone whose love of learning is not muzzled, yoked, or shackled by any institution or authority; whose mind is driven to wander and find its own voice and place in the world.”

James Bach holds no formal degrees, yet he is an expert in the field of computer software testing. His list of accomplishments – from Apple Computers to Silicon Valley and many places in between–is truly remarkable. James dropped out of school early in life and later at 20, was the youngest manager ever at Apple computers earning $35,000 a week as a Microsoft software engineer without even a high school diploma.

"The author dropped out of school with an 8th grade education and in his early 20’s became a software tester at Apple Computers - a position usually reserved for college graduates. James Marcus Bach is the son of Richard Bach, who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull. One of the things the author shared during a talk he gave to a group of school children:

“School is temporary. Education is not. If you want to prosper in life: find something that fascinates you and jump all over it. Don’t wait for someone to teach you; your enthusiasm will attract teachers to you. Don’t worry about diplomas or degrees; just get so good that no one can ignore you.”

This self-titled “dangerous idea” led the author to take responsibility for his education by pursuing his passions in a heuristic way.

It’s a very provocative idea and I love it. Many intelligent people do not thrive in a traditional classroom and demonstrate learning styles that call for nontraditional approaches. It’s encouraging to read and truly consider this alternative for students who struggle with a system that squelches their passions. His unique process is outlined in his book and becomes the reader’s roadmap for self-education." ~ Janet