I've been teaching GIS and writing GIS related textbooks for many years, but the traditional book publishing world has changed. So has the way that people want to learn GIS; and so has the GIS software.
In my job I have to keep up with all the latest technology both for my work and for my books. But you know what? Most of what I learn researching books goes into my everyday workload to make my life simpler. When you learn one new thing that solves a major headache you'll be glad you spent the time to learn new things.
Never stop learning - we certainly know that GIS will never stop changing.
The other thing I've noticed is that each year my datasets become more critical for more departments. In the olden days if the map server went down for two days I was a little annoyed until I got everything running again. Today if the map server goes down for two minutes my phone begins to ring. Patrol cars and fire trucks are dead in the water - utility systems grind to a halt - and citizens can't find out what day their garbage is collected. Chaos! Well, maybe just annoyance for others.
So I have to learn to be efficient, on the forefront of GIS technology, and how to ensure that my data is always available. And for years I've been sharing this with my classes and with you.
These short course books should help you learn these new topics quickly and efficiently and keep you on the forefront of the new technology. Keep the fire trucks and patrol cars going ... and make sure garbage is put out on the correct day.
I hope you enjoy them!