Monday, 9 August 2010

Learning: A review

It's been a while since I wrote a blog about software developers learning. Previous postings have investigated learning models, the mechanics of the brain, how, why and what to learn, and more.

There's more to come, but let's just take a little refresher of some of the points I've raised so far:

  • Learning is a basic human skill. We can all do it. We do it all the time.
  • Our learning is too narrowly focused. Consider a wider sphere of reference. Draw inspiration from other fields.
  • Learning is hard work. It doesn't come for free. But you don't get a reward without an investment.
  • Learn to learn. That's why I'm writing this series! The most effective learning is done on purpose and planned to maximise effectiveness.
  • The left brain/right brain split We need to employ all of our available brainpower to make our learning maximally effective.
  • Personality type affects learning style Understand how you best learn and exploit that to your advantage.
  • Memory fades Unless you refresh your knowledge by using it, your memory of it will become unreliable.
  • Memory grows Constant stimulation is required to maintain growing mental capacity.
  • Mental state effects learning Cultivate a positive attitude towards learning. Otherwise you may as well not bother.
  • Learning models Certain models can help us classify levels of expertise and plan how to gain it.
Shortly I will describe at some very practical techniques to help improve our learning capabilities.

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