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How to learn new technology?

Table of Contents

I try to learn new technologies all the time and I don't think I am really good in it but I anyways want to share it :)

This is relevant for 2020.

  1. Find a reason: Are you looking for a better job or want to get better at it or want to become Billionaire? Basically define a goal.
  2. Decide a date by when you want to achieve that goal. I suggest at least 6 months to 2 years from now.
  3. Break down your goals into smaller goals. Each small goal should contribute towards achieving that big goal. This step is all about making a plan.
  4. Commit to your plan: Make sure you spend time every day.
  5. Get your hands dirty: Start by creating projects. This is very, very important because after spending few days with that new technology you may want to discard it or it wil make your more excited.
  6. Share what you learn: You don't have to but I highly recommend this because when you learn with the intention to teach other you have one more motivation to drive you and you will learn it really well. Share it on your blog or make a video or contribute on Github.
  7. Commit to a book, a course or a teacher.
  8. While you are learning make your own notes.
  9. Learn about supporting technologies.
  10. Take breaks. Reset your brain from time to time.

Video version of this post.

Now these instructions are definitely for learning a new technology but if that involves a programming language then the following points will probably help.

I am saying this because when you learn how to code by following an example or someone showing you how to do it you learn how but are not really using your brain to solve a problem. The most effective way to learn any programming language is to get hands dirty and at the same time find solution yourself.

Now when you follow an example shown in a video or by doing an online course you will end up with a code which works but you want to retain the knowledge that you learned to reach that point of working code. If you commit your code from time to time, ideally after every chapter/section then you can trace back. For example look at the first commit where you wrote 4 lines of code. You can also include some supporting comment. They browse through your commits in future to see how you evolved that code.

Now I am doing a course where I am learning Node.js and I feel good that I am learning something but unless I start solving real world problems I won't be able to use my newly acquired knowledge often. So what I do I try to incorporate the code I used 2 months ago to solve similar problems. The course I am doing these days on Node.js is great because the teacher actually goes back to the old code and use it again. It is amazing because it gives lot of assurance that you have a chance to revise what you learnt recently.

1 Stay distraction free

1.1 While you are doing something don't switch context. Taking a short break to watch a 10m YouTube video can ruin your plans for the day.

More soon.