Try to learn something new in every occasion

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There once was a man that preyed everyday to God and ask to win the lottery. Every single day the man would prey the same prayer. He did everything according to his religion, he was a good man and always helped others, but he never won the lottery. When he died and got to Heaven, he asked God “Why didn’t you ever make me win the lottery? Weren’t I a good man?”, to which God answered “You were a good man indeed and if you had ever bought a lottery ticket, you would have won”.

After writing about the importance of investing in yourself, I wanted to write another post especially about taking courses.

Taking a course on something you want to know more about, or not, can be the difference between using it or never touching it. Many times we hear about new technologies and are afraid to touch it. We might feel it isn’t relevant to us, it is too difficult to learn and such. No matter what excuse you have, the result is the same – We avoid using it.

The chance for us to use a technology (or to win the lottery) increases drastically when learning, even an Intro course, about it (buying a lottery ticket). Taking a 101 course can help unveil its mystery.

Where to start? These are three sites that I really like. I took courses in all of them:

Courses’ sites

  •  My favorite. First, they are always on sale. The courses are pretty cheap and you have 30 days to cancel. Secondly, and more important, the courses are very down to the ground. They teach the technology itself and how to use it. They don’t waste time explaining the background or methodology. Here is the technology, this is how you use it, here are the errors you might find and how to fix them. I really enjoyed taking the Complete guide for Angular.
  •  was like Udemy at the beginning, a few years ago, and then they changed the format to “skill oriented”, which means you have to take a “path”. Single courses are still available but it’s not like it was 3-4 years ago. I enjoyed taking a course about Scala there.
  •  is very professional. You have to buy a monthly subscription and then you have access to all their courses. If it had the same prices like Udemy, I would prefer Pluralsight. Their videos are very professional and they really help you understand the foundations. You can “choose” to learn the foundations of the technology you are learning about or just learn the use-cases of it. 
There are many more, but these three are the ones I use.
The first step is to enter to one of them and find a course you find exciting and are curious about. Then, the more difficult thing to do – You have to make time for it. I recommend sitting at least twice a week for at least one hour. Once is not enough and I don’t have time to sit more than twice a week so I assume neither do you.
Write it in your calendar and make a notification go off so you don’t miss it. 
Most of the courses are asynchronous, so you can do them in your free time, even the tasks and exams! But do try to set dates and goals to yourself in order to really feel the progress. Try to find a project you could implement the newly learned technology in.

CR, PR And Coworkers
Learning is done all the time, not only when we actually mean to. Take for example a CR (Code Review). This is the process when one programmer takes a look at another programmer’s code. This process teaches both of the programmers a lot. The one that’s looking at the code can see and learn how the other one approached the problem. If you are lucky, it won’t be the same way you would have approached the problem, now you have another chance to learn. The one who’s code is being reviewed will learn a lot about the reviewers comments, a conversation should start and both would learn a lot about it.
The same happens with PR (Pull Requests) and when sitting with customers to understand what they want in the product.

We are surrounded by endless information and data. It is crucial we understand how to manage it to better understand it and make use of it.

But the most important thing? Enjoy what you are learning. If you won’t, everything becomes pointless.

Comments: 1

  1. […] this as your main job, I strongly recommend taking some courses in your free time (like I wrote here […]

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