I have embarked on the mission of learning Houdini. It is bizarre learning a new piece of software, it rekindles a passion for learning that I remember from when I first started using Maya. Having used Maya now for 6 years, it has become such second nature, that to learn a new piece of software has been quite interesting. No longer is it easy to build setups that work how you want them too, and it is necessary to research how different nodes work in order to discover how to derive the correct data to achieve the desired result.
That being said, with all of my experience, the process is coming along quicker than when I first used Maya mainly because I now know which questions to ask. I have a better idea of what information I need to get to achieve an end result. I also know the kind of work that most interests me so I am focusing on only a small part of Houdini for the time being, namely simulations relating to creature FX.
Hoidini seems like a very smart piece of software and makes a lot of sense in terms of it's procedural nature. I can't wait until I start putting some shots out!