So having been a software programmer for many years I am / was well versed in having to get to grips with new technologies and methodologies which invariably meant study time was in order. At some stage in my career I came to the (perhaps obvious) conclusion that using a variety of methods of study worked the best for me when it came to wanting to learn about something new. To this end I used on a regular basis:
- Magazine Articles
- YouTube / Vimeo
- Udemy (and other online training resources)
- Downloaded videos
- Hands on time (particularly for new programming languages and software tools)
- Conferences and Seminars
I also took the opportunity to vary location and (for want of a better term “Input Method”) as I found this also helped with the learning and retention process:
- Studying indoors and outdoors (and occasionally dedicated places like libraries or sitting on the slopes of the Malvern Hills!)
- I also use a variety of TVs, Laptops, Cinema Rooms and a Virtual Reality headset (the latter being a great way to block out the world and really focus)
One of the nice things about the occasional blog post is learning new things as a result of your own research – the above pyramid I found interesting and pertinent to the subject of this post. The bottom of the pyramid should obviously be the primary types of study for the learning process to be most effective. I have always been big on ‘learning by doing’ as my personal favorite learning method and it is good to see the effectiveness of this reflected elsewhere!
But perhaps the best tip I might give as an aid to the learning process is to take well earned breaks. For instance yesterday I took an hour out of study to go walking in the Malverns – I decided to push myself and managed to knock 21 seconds of my personal best in my own “favourite” 5K hill climb.
Later on my daughter asked if we could go to the fish and chip shop for tea – we are lucky to have one of the best chip shops in the Country just a short drive away – but the irony of having chips for tea neatly undoing any health gains from my 5k hill climb wasn’t lost 🙂