Learning How to Learn — The importance of Questions in Thinking and learning

Last year in some of my free time, I happened to complete an interesting online course from Coursera on Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects. The course was taught by two very famous professors and pioneers in computational neuroscience. It included several topics like diffused vs focused modes of thinking, memory and chunking, procrastination etc. One of the key topic that sounded very common but emphasized several times was the importance of testing your learning process using Questions and practicing regularly. The course highlighted that questioning, practicing and testing your concepts as you learn will boost your memory and helps in long term memory retention and recall.

Around the same time, I was also finding it pretty interesting to read answers on a variety of topics on the popular website Quora and some of them were very well written to give the reader a very nice learning experience. Initially I never bothered to attempt writing answers to questions but I did enjoy reading the variety of questions and answers, reading profiles of most viewed writes etc. For the first month, I probably wrote answers only for one or two questions, but I then I saw a trend that more people started asking questions related to VLSI (probably after seeing my profile ) and the more I started answering, there were more views, up votes and more followers and it started becoming very interesting. I started realizing that I am able to add more and more values to readers and there are also people with lot of questions in the same domain which I considered myself as expert.

That is around same time (about 6 months back) myself and a good friend of mine (Robin) had an idea of writing a book that can help the young students and engineers in the VLSI field based on our experience. We were discussing various possibilities and the contents of the book that will make it a good read and learning tool. Having learned the importance of Questions in successful learning or teaching or thinking, we decided this would be the best approach to bring out a book and add good value to the readers to help them in succeeding their learning needs as well as career goals.

We started working with that in mind and with an aim of delivering the best value to our readers. We actively came up with Questions and Problems covering all the sections that are relevant for a Digital VLSI engineer with more emphasis on a Verification job. We put in lot of effort to make sure we answer correctly and with detailed explanations and finally we were successfully able to release this book — “Cracking Digital VLSI Verification Interview: Interview Success”, You can find a lot of details on it on Amazon and a good preview . It contains about 9 sections covering all important topics and a total of 500+ questions with detailed explanations, special interview trends and preparation as well as views from different leaders in the Verification industry on what they look during interviews.

The book is only less than a week into release, but I wanted to share the excitement and also share the importance of learning through Questions and how it can be used to test, practice, ask more questions and have a successful learning experience.

And my excitement didn’t stop after the book release and I continue to ask and write answers on Quora. Seeing the increasing number of comments and up votes and personal messages, I am even more excited and I am experiencing that Questions form a very important part of successful learning or teaching and my own long term memory is increasing.