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4:01 PM
@socks I sorta kinda agree with the sentiment, but don't endorse it. Esri certainly has a long a history of doing things their own way, reinventing what's already been done elsewhere in their own fashion, and making some pretty significant mistakes and/or hair-pulling-why-did-they-leave-that-out shortcuts in the process. To that extent it's true. However they're also the biggest animal in the room and thus the easiest target to take potshots at.
Their documentation library is HUGE and covers primary and advanced GIS concepts in depth. It is drawn in and covered with Esri coloured paint, because that's who built it.
The conjoined sentiment in the comment, "to know open source GIS is to know GIS" is true only from a narrow slot in the fence, and not indicative of an open and exploring mind.
My advice is don't be monocultural or monolingual. Learn at least two "GIS" languages (platforms), and that way you can see where the local "isms" begin and end and what the true over-arching concepts and principles are.
One the of best things I ever did for my technical education was take a couple of pure python software development courses in addition to the Esri arcpy curriculum. Now I can see for myself in any given code snippet, generally, what is Esri patois and what python.
I've been a decades long adherent to and proponent for the GDAL/OGR ecosystem, and a frequent visitor to QGIS (though by no means proficient, relative to my ArcGIS skills).
I treasure the contrast of seeing (and using!) how different systems approach the same problem. Everyone has a limited view.
Bottom line: eat a balanced diet, something from every food group. If not every day then at least every week.
 
4:59 PM
@mattwilkie Damn, really well said. I think I'll start taking a look at QGIS over the summer, that seems to be the "big" open source platform that everyone talks about. I guess I see discussion about GRASS and SAGA to some extent as well but not nearly as much.
 

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