Sometimes I think that the way I approach learning borders on OCD and, I think that is a good thing. Let me explain.

Let’s say I want to add a new function to an already existing project. While I watch the how-to video I am constantly updating my code. The obsession part comes into play because I often find myself stopping the video before the task is completed and venturing into the unknown alone. It's not that I think I can find a better way to do it — actually quite the opposite; I am working towards your accomplishment and I feel that it makes your brain adjust or respond more assertively to a task if you stop and just brainstorm. Simply put: anyone can follow instructions.

My brain will pay attention to more of the information if I fumble through being 6 inches away from my goal and watching how the logic progresses to reach that goal. Sometimes I literally am “watching” the progress; learning as I go and staying open to new ideas. There have been times when I sat and typed some code, hit the save button, saw an error pop up, paused, and typed the exact same code again. Or, change a quotation mark from a single quotation to a double quotation to see if that would do the trick. I was seeing if I could figure out how to make that error go away. There have even been times when I completely forget about the endpoint goal and try to conquer that pesky intermediate step even though I know another way around the roadblock.

If you watched me you would think I'm not accomplishing anything but, I am! Because no one saw how I worked through the steps that did not lead to my goal “at that moment in time”, now, I can explain to another person, in a way that is understandable, exactly why one specific way will work or give a coherent summary of what is needed if you try a different approach. During the course of learning a new way to create some part of my application, I may have learned 3 “F.Y.I.” facts.

The magical part is, my words will never sound robotic like I am reciting a passage of text because I am not walking in another person’s shoes. I took all of the wrong steps myself!

Obviously, this approach would not be kosher when working under time constraints but that was nice to get off my chest.



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