How do you learn?


#1

Hi there!

I am interested to know how you are studying the material? Besides doing the exercises and projects, is there anything else you do?

For instance, do you take notes or jot down the summary pages? How many times do you go back and re-do the projects?

The ability to learn vast amounts and quickly taking in new concepts seems to be fundamental for a web developer. Of course, it largely comes down to pure practice and hours put in to become proficient at something.

This definitely worked for learning html and css, and you can immediately start creating without constantly referring to documentation. For example, want to change the background color? I bet you will rarely have to look up the ‘background-color: red;’ syntax.

But for things like Git and Javascript I encountered something entirely different. Things were not so straightforward. I found myself constantly going back to the tutorials, the documentation, or my notes. Not remembering things was definitely slowing down my progress. Have you experienced anything similar?

Recently I have been turning the basics into memorable stories and images, so I have a visual resource I can quickly think of when I try recall concepts. This has actually helped enormously. If you are interested, I compiled the story here: https://medium.com/@kylerobbo12/remember-the-github-space-station-86cd8a7575f6

Best of luck with the studying - I am sure you are crushing it!


#2

I’m sure you’ll have seen at least one quiz somewhere on the Internet or social media which asks “What type of learner are you?”, and has a list of the different types of learner and how they best absorb information.

This isn’t the place to go into whether these quizzes are accurate or to debate whether they’re based in fact, but it is true that everyone learns differently.

Personally, I find that when I’m going through the lessons on Codecademy I don’t have any difficulty understanding the material or completing the exercises. The problem I have is that information doesn’t “stick” in my head just by reading it. I have a much easier time remembering how stuff works if I’ve done something with it, so a lot of my “study” is actually just tooling around on my computer and putting what I’ve learned to use.

Quite a lot of the time, that’s nothing more complicated than thinking “Well, I’ve just done a lesson on CSS grids. Let’s see if I can build a webpage from scratch that uses that.” and then spending some time getting it wrong and learning why a particular <div> isn’t doing what I want it to, for example.

Regardless of how you learn, whether that’s by reading or putting your skills into practise or whatever, repetition is certainly a big part of driving home any new material. Practise makes perfect, after all. :slight_smile:


#3

THERE. IS. ONLY. 1. WAY. TO LEARN. CODING!

THE. WAY. THE. PEOPLE. WHO. TEACH. CODING. LEARNED.

EXPLORING. CREATIVE. WAYS OF LEARNING. IS FUTILE. AND. WILL. OPEN. UP. THE. PROGRAMMING WORLD. TO MORE CREATIVE TYPES. OF THINKERS.

WE. CAN NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!

BLUNT REPETITION. TRIAL AND ERROR. WORKING BACKWARDS. IS THE. ONLY. ACCEPTABLE ANSWER.

Ha , jk. Programming and the demand for programmers has outpaced any ability to build efficient curriculum or teaching methods. It’s simply too hard to find people who understand programming, the psychology behind educating, and have the communication skills to convey coherent concepts.

It’s very important to understand that most courses available online or in-person aren’t created and taught with the sophistication that you’ve come to expect from a formal educational experience.

I don’t think that’s understood by many who tackle relatively new fields that haven’t had time to develop educational infrastructure to efficiently teach others. When we try to learn anything from an inept teacher our natural response is to consider the subject matter difficult, or simply that it takes herculean practice efforts.

Also, we begin to think rote memory is the answer. And, pure memorization will work. However, what works best is when we are presented the information in some intuitive order

Good teachers and well-written instructional materials make a world of difference.

The drones who write instructions and explanations of programming concepts are also usually pathetic communicators. They clearly give no thought about the audience for which they write. They leave out too much pertinent information and include many misleading non-sequiturs. You have to already understand a concept before you can understand what they’re trying to say.

One thing that helps me to cement a course to long term memory and deep understanding -
I go back and reread the course after I’ve basically taught everything to myself. I try to figure out what the instructions were really intending to communicate, and then I rewrite them to work for someone who doesn’t know how to do what they’re about to try to do(Novel idea, I know.)

P.S. This isn’t a jab at codecademy. I wouldn’t be here if I thought there was a better option. It’s just helpful to understand the true scope of an issue.


#4

Try teaching what you learned to someone else. I have been speaking English nearly all my life but I never knew how little I actually knew until I had to teach it to a class of 8 year olds.

Same thing happened when I had to teach basic programming to a high schooler. I knew what the vocabs were and the process but I never knew how to break it down to properly explain it. Ended up relearning everything in the chapter before I taught the students.


#5

Similarly to what @codewhiz91919 said, you’ll find that helping other folk on the forum with the questions they have about the Codecademy courses will also help your understanding of the material. :slight_smile: