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Learning for Life

tam360 profile image Mirza ・1 min read

Today marks my first month as a fresh SW in As a associate engineer. I mainly deal with ReactJS and Flask in front and back end respectively. I've. I've some past experience with Flask (made a chat bot once) unlike React which is totally new for me. So far, my work as has been a mix of both excitement and challenges.

My main issue is that there's so much that I don't know yet I would love to learn. I want to pursue cloud certifications, become a full-stack engineer (my front-end skills are rusty compare to back-end for now), contribute in OSS projects and learn sign sign language.

I've heard a lot of stories about SWs getting burned out period after 3-5 years because apparently they start to loose their stamina to absorbing latest knowledge. I find this thought really scary to be honest. Spending 5 years in CS undergrad just to get stagnant after 2 or 3 would be nightmare for me.

In short,my fears boil down to these questions:

  • How can one maintain a habit of constant learning for lifetime?
  • What sort of strategies have you adopted for learning new stuff?
  • How do you develop a sustaining stamina?

I would love to hear your thoughts and tips on this!

Discussion

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molamk profile image
molamk

First of all, congrats on the job!

How can one maintain a habit of constant learning for lifetime?

I think a change of perspective might be useful here. Instead of trying to "maintain a habit of constant learning", ask yourself what you're interested/passionate about.

It will come way more naturally to you because you'll be genuinely curious about the subject. Also, reading tech blogs/news will keep informed about trends and new tech.

What sort of strategies have you adopted for learning new stuff?

By building stuff. I found this to be the best approach personally if I want to learn about new things. Chatbots, calculators, blogs, anything you want. After building that try using containers, try to streamline deployment (CI/CD), etc...

How do you develop a sustaining stamina?

By not blindly following the hype. The JavaScript world (react, angular, vue, node, etc...) moves very fast, and you'll feel overwhelmed quickly if you split your focus between all that stuff.

Instead focus on the principles like patterns, scalable architecture, and maintainable code.

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tam360 profile image
Mirza Author

Reading tech blogs is something that I do on weekly basis.

About the hype, it's really difficult not to get attracted to it. Trying to move against the current (even if it temporary) makes me feel a left out.

CI/CD is something that I can do.

Thanks for the descriptive answer and congrats!

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lennythedev profile image
Lenmor Ld

Find your spot or your zone.
A place where you enjoy coding.

This helps you build consistency and eventually a habit.
On days that I'm feeling really creative and motivated, I can code anywhere even in the couch for long hours.
But, on days that I'm procrastinating/not very motivated, I would go to "my spot", which is the library/coffee shop/somewhere with working people around/somewhere with a window and a nice view.
Whenever I'm there, I couldn't slack off since I'm so used to working when I'm there, and I enjoy the time I'm there.
Find your spot, and maintain it that way (e.g. don't play games / look in your phone much when you're in your spot)

When you do it enough of times, the moment you step into your spot, your whole self is prepped up and in the zone already.

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tam360 profile image
Mirza Author

Next obvious question: how do you find your spot given you spend weekdays in office and weekends in your room?

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lennythedev profile image
Lenmor Ld

Yes exactly, it's hard to start a new habit on very familiar places for us
So I suggest going out to somewhere you can code peacefully without distractions.

When I started, I used to go to the university library since I'm surrounded with people studying so i would feel guilty to slack off.

If going out is not an option, try to establish an environment in your place that's significantly different than your daily routines.

For me it's a matter of place. For others it could be a matter of time. Try to set aside 15-30min per day for it. And make sure you don't miss it for next 2 weeks. I read somewhere that it takes a certain amount of time to build a habit, 2 weeks of 15min a day sounds like a good start. Since it's little but it's consistent.

Also look for meetups in your area for coding sessions

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kosenshou profile image
Louie Aroy

For me I love learning more than developing, I love the fun and excitement that entails discovering new software, new language. It's like playing an RPG game going to a new map, seeing the beautiful scenery, encountering new monsters to defeat. I'm bored fast when I just keep repeating doing what I'm doing with the same tools.

My advice is to not fear to just jump and start using that new tool, just enjoy the process of learning while doing it. Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

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healeycodes profile image
Andrew Healey

I try to do something small every day. I commit to stuff that can be tracked externally. I write a blog post and a newsletter every week. Daily streaks help too!

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tam360 profile image
Mirza Author

How small is small? Do you give 1 hour, 2 or 3?

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healeycodes profile image
Andrew Healey

1-3, more on weekends/holidays 👍. I would say that this only works because my fiancée is a coder as well.