This month marks one year since I started learning to program. I figured I should spend some time reflecting on a few important things I’ve learned. No, I won’t start rambling about the intricacies of Ruby or SQL. There are some concepts I’ve learned that apply to learning in general.
- If you are having trouble finding the solution, you might not fully understand the problem. I think often of the quote “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions”.
- When you notice that you are avoiding digging in to a certain concept, lean in. For me personally, the subjects I feel hesitant toward are what I need to study most. I have learned not to feel intimidated by concepts that seem difficult at first.
- Learning is about growth; not perfection. I’m still working on internalizing this one. In my experience, an all-or-nothing mindset is unhealthy and the added pressure can actually hinder learning.
- Sustainability is key. Whatever your study habits are, make sure they are sustainable. It has taken a lot of experimentation for me to find the right balance. The path to mastery is a marathon, not a sprint!
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learning new and difficult concepts is uncomfortable. Debugging is uncomfortable. Solving advanced problems is uncomfortable. Once I learned to embrace the discomfort for what it really is — growth — I found learning to be much more enjoyable.
Here’s to year two!