Practice makes Precision

I wanted to share something that is probably obvious to most. However, I find that sometimes it does not click until we are able to relate in some way.

I have been enrolled at Launch School for about 6 months now with no prior coding experience whatsoever. I have just passed the 109 written assessment and now I am preparing for the interview portion. The past 2 weeks I have been sick with a sinus infection and a cold and have not touched 1 line of code in that time as I felt I could not concentrate or get into that mindset. Today is my first day back and I realize how rusty I am. I wanted to write an article on my observations so that others may be able to relate and possibly reinforce the importance of consistent practice.

I have been playing guitar for just over 30 years. Throughout that time I have had to take breaks from practice due to other affects of life. Most of the music I play is technically and theoretically involved. When picking up the guitar after any short or long amount of time off there is a noticeable difference in how well I play. I have come to find that I need to rewire my brain to regain precise coordination between my left and right hands as the accuracy is just not there as it should be. To rewire my brain I have to play exercises very slow and I mean VERY slow. Over time I can undoubtedly notice the difference. When playing very slow while paying close attention to technique the brain tends to absorb what is going on much better than trying to play more complicated passages at a faster pace. I have been able to relate this to learning to code.

At least with me……. I notice that if I practice what I am learning at Launch School very slow I am able to absorb the information much easier. In the beginning I was moving faster through everything and found later on that I really did not ‘get’ or absorb the information so that I could call on it efficiently when needed. Now, I go through everything slowly so that I can understand the concepts. However, I still struggle with some concepts but as I continue to slowly practice, I notice that they are sinking in more and more each time.

There are obviously many other comparisons that can be made like this, but I find that the most important thing is to be honest with yourself and try not to rush. We all want to get through the course as quickly as possible for whatever reasons. As for me…I am 41 years old and unhappy with my current job. With that in mind I have made the decision to be honest with myself and decided to take it slowly and realize that things could be worse.

Hopefully, this may help iterate how important it is not rush through things here at Launch School or anywhere else for that matter. Keep it slow and consistent and the results will be there……..