How To Learn Without Getting Overwhelmed, Agile Way

Lately I have tried to spend some of my spare time learning how to code. This has been a good decision by all means, but every now and then I have felt overwhelmed by everything there is to learn. Today I got pretty overwhelmed when I found myself googling around Android’s Handlers, Runnables and Threads. I never thought I would go there, but obviously one can spend a lifetime learning about these issues.

Learning things and solving problems is enjoyable, but you only have a limited amount of time to spend. Figuring this out feels a bit frustrating since of course it would be just so nice to “learn everything”.

The concrete and straightforward solution that gives me a peace of mind is to create realistically achievable goals. If going after these goals feels too easy one should come up with bigger and more challenging things. On the other hand if one feels overwhelmed and discouraged by a too big challenge one should divide that task into better fitting pieces.

Agile development methodology splits the project into small pieces, stories, that can be delivered in an agile way. Defining these stories is a grand challenge. The acronym “I-N-V-E-S-T” helps to define and declare great stories. The letters stand for:

  • I = Independent (Can be done independently)
  • N = Negotiable (It is not a must)
  • V = Valuable (Is valuable in itself)
  • E = Estimable (Size can be estimated)
  • S = Small (Can be done in a sprint)
  • T = Testable (Can be tested).

These guidelines can help you to achieve your learning goals without getting lost in everything out there. It helped me and I hope it helps you! Happy learning :)