Do You Take Notes?

Hello!

I’m starting the python course soon and it says that it takes 30 hours. Is this just the reading and the exercises or is it note taking too? I have been taking notes so far on the full stack engineering course and I find it helps me to process the information and also helps in that I can go back and review the information when it comes to projects. I’d love to hear your methods!

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I think there’s a few other similar queries (making or taking notes) bouncing around the forums if you want to hunt them down for some additional opinions.

Unfortunately I don’t think there’s any definition of that 30 hours; I think it’s provided as a loose guideline to help folks choose a course that suits them but when it comes to the crunch we all learn at out own pace. So long as you’re engaged and learning take whatever time you need for sure.

I don’t take many notes these days but I do take some notes, ideally with an example of that particular topic in action (especially if it’s one that doesn’t click for me). This is a weird process of pen and paper for the basics and only typing things up that I know I’m going have to look back on. The paper notes disappear with time and textual guidance is never as useful for me as an example (I can always look up the docs or blogs for text guidance; a personalised example is the business).

For really cementing my knowledge nothing beats doing some kind of project where you actually have to apply what you’ve learnt. So like you I use notes as a referral but I mostly limit them to things I know I didn’t really take in the first time (then just link the original just in case).

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Yea for me note taking often helps for process. I try not to go forward if I can’t understand the note I’m taking down to a good enough extent. The organization system for notes is important to me so that I can quickly refer back to specific bits (no pun intended).

As for a course taking 30 hours, I think it’s just a baseline estimate for a “medium” reading of a course. Rushing will help to finish quicker, but you don’t retain nearly as much (so I don’t see the point). If you try to slow-cook the course it will probably take a little bit longer than 30 hours. But I’d err on the side of slow and steady.

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Thanks so much for your reply!

So you type up your notes on your PC? That’s a great idea, especially since you can add links to things. Can you add links in Word and just click on them to go the page? I’ve been writing all my notes by hand at the moment.

Also, if you don’t take many notes, what happens when it comes to revision? I will be taking Microsoft exams and I’m concerned I won’t remember everything!

Write up whatever you feel you need to, an exam is a very different thing to prepare for. If you have a process for it then you do you :slightly_smiling_face:.

Yeah plaintext is fine, I like using markdown but it’s more for function than keeping it pretty. If you do a lot of it maybe some kind of tagging system would help or at the very least some kind of organisation. There are some neat pieces of software around for this that you might want to look at.

What I meant was that I try and avoid writing up notes on topics I know are already better documented elsewhere or that I’ll use so often I’ll never have to refer back to them. For “things I know I’ll have to look back on” it’s normally a topic or piece of syntax that gets used very infrequently so it’s easy to forget or something I just could not wrap my head around at the time.

Perhaps the most recent thing I’ve tried to learn is SQL. Whilst I was starting out I had several pages of paper notes but only a small fraction of that was ever typed up. The practice and repetition meant certain things eventually :joy: went in.

Recorded notes are some brilliant examples of applications that were very useful but I’ll probably not need again any time soon. Quite a few projects are saved there and I’ll occasionally hunt down syntax from a project where I remember doing X but I can’t remember exactly how I did it. So there’s less on basic syntax and more on application (because the example includes syntax anyway and works better for me).