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Karolina Jiménez
Karolina Jiménez

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Struggling at Learning?

Almost two years ago, I decided to change my career, so I had to adapt my learning skills. It has not been an easy road, but I have learned so much and not only in the technical aspect, I have learned more about myself.

Before changing my career, I didn't ask myself the best way for me to learn was, I just read and then applied what I learned. But now, as a Developer, I have been challenged every day to learn better.

Michael Scott Book

When I started this new path, I was trying to apply my old learning style, get the theory (read the book, documentation, learn the requirements), and then use it (do your work).

Who could tell that by just highlighting in a book what a variable was wouldn't be useful enough when trying to build something from scratch.

Learning under that style was a disaster; I wasn't making any progress and was feeling more lost every day. I must confess, and in case someone else might feel the same, that I cried, I got angry with myself and frustrated.

Michael Scott Tears

While moving forward, I was able to acquire better skills for my learning, but I struggled. I looked at tutorials and got bored and impatient; this would take me to place the video speed to 2.0 (I bet some of you must have done the same 😂). At the end of the video, I was able to grab some knowledge, but I was not getting deep enough.

A colleague recommended me to watch "Learning how to Learn", but the 2.0 speed attacked again. So I wasn't ready for "Learning how to Learn"?

After some introspection, I identified some of the elements that were/are holding me back:

  1. Gets easily bored and impatient: I am/was the one looking for the TLDR;
  2. Afraid to fail: I am/was thinking I needed to understand still MORE to begin.

I am now trying t understand better my Learning Style, a simple google search under that keyword took me to some excellent information and some unnecessary 70 questions questionnaires about which is your learning style.

There are several different Learning Styles categories, but the three most relevant I was able to identify were:

  1. Visual Learners: those that need to see pictures and graphs to visualize.
  2. Auditory Learners: those who need to hear the information.
  3. Kinesthetic Learners: those who need to engage in an activity to grasp a concept.

Source: https://www.inc.com/molly-reynolds/how-to-spot-visual-auditory-and-kinesthetic-learni.html

My research allowed me to understand that I am more a Visual Learner and found some tools and tips on how to improve my study session as a visual learner.

By having these tools, I feel more prepared to tackle my learning. I am taking more notes, forcing myself to be patient and not 2.0x the videos - I am giving a second try to "Learning how to Learn" now. I am planning thoroughly, setting myself more clear daily goals, and trying to improve more with each day. It is still a work in progress and not a perfect plan, but moving me forward.

If you feel frustrated or stuck with your learning skills, go back and check if you have been trying to learn in a way not suitable for you. It doesn't matter how many times you keep trying and adjusting your learning as long as you improve yourself.

“No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn back.” — Turkish proverb.

Top comments (11)

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited on

I'm a Kinesthetic learner which makes it easier for me to learn by doing. I would suggest going to workshops or online courses which shows picture or animation or story tellers. I love ExtraCredits that talks about history in animation way.

I would suggest that you select programming videos that is visual in nature with simple and easy explanation like WesBoss, TraverseyMedia or LevelupTuts.

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karojg profile image
Karolina Jiménez Author

Thanks for your suggestions, Max. I am definitively trying to attend more workshops to involve myself. And will take a look at those resources.

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reece_coombes profile image
Reece Coombes

Very interesting read!

I don't know that I fit very well into any of those three categories. I learn best by studying a process/logical structure and then understanding how it works. Generally, this means I learn best by first grasping the theory and then implementing it in practice.

A good example is when learning Biology in school, I could never remember the names of bones, proteins, features of cells, etc. But I could give you a thorough and clear explanation of how those things interacted and what their function in the body was. That's because I understood the process behind it, but I guess my mind placed a lower value on learning their names!

It's fascinating to see how other people's minds learn in different ways to my own, and perhaps I can learn from insights like yours!

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karojg profile image
Karolina Jiménez Author

Hey Reece! Thanks your comment.

When I was trying to identify myself under one of those categories, I found that I have some pieces of all them, but the one with more weight was the visual.

It seems that you have very clear how you learn the best, and that's great. In the end, we don't need to be classified under a specific label to learn better and improve ourselves. :)

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robdwaller profile image
Rob Waller

Interesting post, thank you.

I'd probably classify myself under "Kinesthetic Learner". Always needed to come up with a "Hello World" implementation of something and work through the bugs to get my head around a new concept. But have got more into reading documentation in detail as my career has progressed.

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karojg profile image
Karolina Jiménez Author

Thanks for your comment, Rob.
I think our learning changes and adapts with time and also our current situation. Knowing how you learn the best is key.

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kretaceous profile image
Abhijit Hota

I wanted to hear this from a fellow dev/learner. That Turkish proverb at the end kinda clarifies a lot of things but things get messy when you don't know if you're on the right road or the wrong one.

And thanks for pointing out the categories of learners. Insightful!

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karojg profile image
Karolina Jiménez Author

Thank you Raman. I am glad you enjoyed and can take value from it.

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thinkc profile image
Tunde Oyewo

Nice article!. I learn by doing, so am a Kinesthetic learner :)

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