Everybody should have their learning strategy.

I am assuming that everybody should continuously learn.

Why?

Because if you do you'll have a richer and fulfilled life.

To be honest this is one of the points I have to improve in my life.

I often deal with things that I don't know (but I need to know) this way:

  1. Google it.
  2. Find the first page that tells me what I need, usually on Stackoverflow, Wikipedia, Quora, blogs, ...
  3. Make use of the information, that often means just a copy and paste.

That was basically my main learning strategy, which I used in the for few years.

I don't know how to remove a commit in Git?

I don't how to generate an SSH key?

I don't know how to run a Docker image?

Google it! Google it! Google it!

This is not even a learning strategy! since I do not learn anything in this way.

It is not effective because the brain does not retain what you quickly read in an article. It is not so easy.

If you are like me, you find yourself continuously looking for the same responses about a certain topic, making the process slow and quite tiring.

I am not saying that Stackoverflow is bad, I love it and use it a lot, but if you use it for the same topic, again and again, it simply means that you do not know enough about the topic.

To break this behaviour you have to:

  • Understand the topic.

  • Put what you are learning into practice.

  • Memorise the most common scenarios and used options

To understand the topic you need to spend some time to study the new concepts that make it up, identify them and find out how they relate. For example, if you want to learn GIT, you need to understand the meaning of commit, branch, pull, push, merge, rebase, and so no.

When studying new subjects I often favour books, the low-tech paper ones in particular. I spend most of my time working in front of a screen, so reading on paper is rewarding, and highlighting with a pencil is fast and effective.

I also follow online courses. Reading is great, but it is more effective to involve your brain with audio and video.

I am following courses on Udemy, Khan Academy and Coursera.

Courses are especially important if you are approaching a new topic, you'll learn how to use (and pronounce) new words and in which context. If you are not native English, like me, that is really valuable.

Acquiring knowledge is not the same as learning a new skill. To actually learn a new skill, you have to practice your new knowledge. It gives you meaning and motivation. If you find yourself struggling on practising what you are learning, ask yourself if that is what you really want to learn. Imagine want to learn Italian. You are reading the basic Italian grammar from a book, and you watch videos on youtube, but you are practising speaking Italian. Does it sound effective? No, it does not. Sometimes it is difficult to find a way to practice. Maybe you do not have any Italian friends, but if you are determined you'll find how to someone. After all, you can find people speaking any languages online.

Understanding new concepts do not necessarily mean that you can recall them easily.

To memorise important concepts and information I often use the app Anki. The first of this kind was Supermemo, which is still popular today.

Anki is a spaced repetition flashcard program, in a few words, it shows you a flashcard just before you are about to forget it.

At first, using Anki seems to be very time consuming, you have to create many flashcards with the concepts you want to memorize, but in the long run, I found it very rewarding.

There is lot's more to say about how to learn new things, this is just the way I currently do. I hope that can help you.