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Btara Truhandarien
Btara Truhandarien

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How do you deal with information and learning overload?

As people working in an ever-evolving discipline, we're encouraged to continuously learn and take in new information. We also know how information has proliferated so much and everyday there's just new information (or articles, blogs, topics) that keep popping up.

Personally, in addition to trying to keep up with software topics I also try to keep up and learn non-software fields too. But I find myself often getting sucked to click hell, using my time opening multiple links to materials that I find interesting or beneficial, but then never really getting to go over them earnestly.

Do you experience information/learning overload? If so how do you manage it?

Discussion (8)

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cgcnu profile image
sreenivas

Naval Ravikanth's advice on this topic helped me a lot. I would suggest look up his views on learning maths & physics from his interviews. To paraphrase him, learn the basics, learn them really well. Don't memorise. Any of the higher concepts you are learning you should be able to derive them from the core basics. This applies to everything programming, finance, arts. Naval is of course quoting most of it from Mr.Fenynman, who had some really great content on learning. Just that Navla's advice drove the point home for me. Learn, don't get lost in learning. Good luck!

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btruhand profile image
Btara Truhandarien Author

On the topic of learning really well, I've found (as many others have) that applying knowledge is very beneficial to the whole learning process. And it helps creating a loop of continuous improvement. Thank you for mentioning Naval, I'll be on the lookout

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cgcnu profile image
sreenivas

Yes, practical application trumps theoretical knowledge any day.

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ronnewcomb profile image
Ron Newcomb

After 20 years in this industry + years of schooling before it: I only learn what I need. There's lots of tech that I haven't learned that didn't stand the test of time. Who even remembers MooTools now, for instance, let alone use it? For most tech you can safely assume it won't be around a few years later so knowing or not knowing it won't affect anything. For tech that sticks around, you have plenty of time to learn it.

I didn't think Java would last at all but haven't felt harmed by never learning it even 20 years later.

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btruhand profile image
Btara Truhandarien Author

Interesting how u said that not having learnt Java didn't harm you. When I was looking at the job market recently, a lot of jobs asked for Java capabilities. But I understand that the many ideas in Java aren't new, just done in different ways

The difficult part currently for me is figuring out which technologies have the potential to be a mainstay for the next couple of years

Thanks!

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svemaraju profile image
Srikanth

Yes, I do experience information overload. I also have too many interests as you say. I am interested in reading fiction like science fiction and fantasy which are very prone to getting yourself immersed in make-believe worlds for hours.

One way I have been dealing with is constant examination of thoughts and trying to reorient myself. I recently read the book on Extreme Programming by Kent Beck, where he talks about the "driving a car" metaphor for software engineering. I think it suits well for learning in general. The metaphor goes like this when you drive a car you try to keep the car on the road as straight as possible, in order to do that you constantly need to adjust your steering slightly to the left, slightly to the right. That is exactly what I think about how we should course-correct ourselves when dealing with information overload, examine if something is really useful for your overall growth and only pay attention if it really does.

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btruhand profile image
Btara Truhandarien Author

Self-reorienting isn't exactly how I term it myself, but yes I do try to have constant feedback and evaluation. Sometimes I feel too often, because I'd be looking down and thinking. In a world of constant movement and action it feels like staying still in your own thoughts can feel so unproductive... which is definitely not always the case! Thanks for re-affirming that I'm not the only one out there

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amir_ekbatani profile image
Amir Ekbatani

This is my question too. I`m searching for answer but every time I stop and watch the process, I find myself stuck in a lot of information.