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JungDaeSuh
JungDaeSuh

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On Learning as a Group

Note: The boot camp that I'm in is in the Republic of Korea (South Korea), and does not offer courses in overseas (unless you can listen lectures in Korean). So this post is not to promote a particular boot camp or any boot camp.

  • There might be some types in this post. I'll re-read tomorrow and correct them.

It's been three weeks since I started a boot camp, and I wanted to share the benefits of learning in a group environment.

1. You're not alone.

As an aspiring developer who tried learning programming on my own, I find it very helpful and soothing that I am not alone in feeling frustrating at times when programs don't run or materials that I'm learning are difficult. It just helps psychologically.

When you're stuck, you can ask your peers about it. It is likely that there is at least one student/programmer who is ahead of you in terms of programming knowledge and can help you with your problem.

You also get to share and receive information that you otherwise would not have known. No matter how much you google, there can be at least one information that you didn't know but is extremely helpful. Plus, your peers might have friends who are already programmers working for companies and can share stories of their friends, which can give you insights and information you might not get on the internet.

Most importantly, the simple presence of others can motivate you and keep you on your toes when it comes to learning. I mean, we've all been there - very motivated at the beginning phase of learning, and then that motivation slowly drops, leading to slowed pace of learning. When I was learning alone, I was less disciplined, no matter how strong my willpower was. I think that's just human nature. We go easy on ourselves.

But when you see others working hard, you don't want to fall behind. So you work hard. That itself is enough to accelerate your learning, which can shorten your time for getting your first job as a developer.

2. You have instructors whom you can ask questions.

This depends on the program in you're in.

My instructor doesn't teach me everything about programming (he wants students to try things themselves first), but he does give guidance and tips on where to look for things and on career. Such guidance and advice can get me to my destination faster. (I acknowledge that I'm kind of obsessed with shortening time on learning. It's probably because I was stubborn on self-teaching for a long time only to realize that it's not an efficient way to spend time and to learn.)

Conclusion.

Although I mainly wrote this from the perspective of a boot camper, I highly recommend people to find others who are also in similar situations to learning together.

You don't necessarily need boot camps to enjoy the benefits of learning as a group. You can find people online and use zoom to learn together and share things. Study groups don't have experienced instructors, but it's still better than learning alone in my opinion.

If you're new, you learn from someone who's a head start in programming. If you're months ahead, you still learn by teaching others. Aristotle said "teaching is the highest form of understanding."

So while I admire those who got a job as a developer by self-teaching, I encourage people to seek study mates, or peers, whom you can learn together. Zoom works too.

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