This story comes in Chapter Two, “The 10,000-Hour Rule.” Here Gladwell shows us that even people with innate talent have to practice or work on their craft for a long time in order to become knowledgeable and proficient. 10,000 hours turns out to be the right amount to gain expert status.
Bill Joy was interested in science when he got to the campus of the University of Michigan in the fall of 1971. He fell in love with computer programming. Fortunately for him, he was in the right place at the right time. Michigan had already switched from a big card-punching computer to a time-share one; and the computer center was open 24/7. Bill spent most of his time there, programming at least 8-10 hours a day. He went on to attend grad school at the University of California at Berkeley. He had the talent and the opportunity to become an expert in the field. He rewrote the UNIX code for mainframe computers. He co-founded Sun Microsystems, a major firm in Silicon Valley. He rewrote the Java language for computers. “He is sometimes called the Edison of the Internet,” Gladwell tells us. All because of a combination of intelligence and opportunity.