Year One

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.

  1. 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”.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!