Upgrade to Pro — share decks privately, control downloads, hide ads and more …

Building a Learning System

Building a Learning System

Part of being a developer is the need to consistently learn, but it can get overwhelming quickly. You’ve probably got a pile of tutorials you want to read, a long Google doc of technologies to check out, or maybe a collection of video courses gathering digital dust. How do you know what to spend time on? How do you make sure you’re learning effectively? Most importantly, how do you actually start crossing things off of that seemingly endless list of what to learn? In this talk, I’ll share with you what’s been working for me as a self-taught developer turned developer advocate. We’ll talk through the need for a learning system, how to build one customized to your own style of learning, and how to use your learning system to produce measurable results that can help you in your career.

Sam Julien

August 19, 2020

More Decks by Sam Julien

Other Decks in Programming


  1. Building a Learning System Leveling Up Predictably and Repeatably

  2. My Suspiciously Familiar Plight as a Dev Advocate

  3. None
  4. How can I consistently learn useful, practical stuff without getting

    burned out?
  5. Top Take-Aways The value of a systematic approach to learning

    Ingredients to predictable and repeatable growth Practical tips on building your learning system
  6. @samjulien Sam Julien samjulien.com Sr. Developer Advocate Engineer at Auth0

    GDE & Angular Collaborator UpgradingAngularJS.com, Thinkster, & egghead @samjulien
  7. Feedback Welcome

  8. The Need for a Learning System

  9. None
  10. Learning as a Developer Overwhelming to know what to learn

    Difficult to cross things off the list Unclear what’s useful (lack of context)
  11. Don’t think of dev as a dictionary to memorize.

  12. Think like an explorer.

  13. None
  14. Wandering vs Exploring

  15. You make less progress wandering aimlessly.

  16. One reason for this is that we’re programmed to seek

    comfort and familiarity.
  17. Comfort is the enemy of growth.

  18. None
  19. None
  20. @samjulien Systems > Motivation

  21. @samjulien

  22. ⚠ Comfort !== Self Care!

  23. @samjulien “You do not rise to the level of your

    goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” James Clear, Atomic Habits
  24. Qualities of an Effective Learning System

  25. @samjulien Good news! If you’re working in a dev job

    right now, you’ve already got some version of this in place.
  26. Predictable and repeatable growth

  27. What causes us to grow?

  28. We grow by doing challenging things quickly and getting feedback.

  29. We grow by doing challenging things quickly and getting feedback.

  30. Doing Challenging Things Quickly Trackable Measurable Production-Focused

  31. We grow by doing challenging things quickly and getting feedback.

  32. Getting Feedback Learning in Groups Learning in Public Does it

  33. Accommodates Different Depths of Learning

  34. Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy Source: https://medium.com/@theo_dawson/blooms-taxonomy-vcol-the-lectical-scale-d7851729ab2b

  35. Source: https://www.winstonk12.org/10/Content2/834

  36. Works with Your Style of Learning

  37. Fun

  38. Components of a Learning System

  39. This can and will look different for you! Focus on

    the concepts. If you don’t think the same way I do, that’s totally awesome. Think of these as signposts.
  40. One “inbox” for each learning area

  41. Regular review process

  42. “Heavy lift” vs “slow burn”

  43. Reliable project management system

  44. Areas vs. Projects

  45. “Learn JavaScript” vs. “Display my name on the page.”

  46. Identify the smallest unit of work you can get done

    and do it fast!
  47. Then repeat.

  48. Stuck? Break it down smaller.

  49. Remember: small = doable!

  50. Stuck? Zoom out a level.

  51. I need to… build a system with it or fit

    it into an existing system. solve a problem with it. do something small with it. do literally anything with it. Zooming Out While Learning a Framework
  52. The learning is in the speed of action.

  53. It’s not a failure, it’s a test!

  54. Three Tools Scratchpad, task manager, knowledge system

  55. Scratch Pad Examples: Notepad++, Google Docs, Drafts Look for: speed,

    ease of use, ability to export
  56. Task Manager Examples: OmniFocus, Things, Google Keep Look for: works

    with your brain, ability to add context/tags
  57. Knowledge Base Examples: Evernote, Roam, Notion, Foam Look for: cross-linking,

    collections, multimedia
  58. The Learning Snapshot

  59. The Learning Snapshot Organized by Area Anchor Resource Progress Ancillary

    Resources Project Progress All Notes in One Place
  60. The Learning Snapshot Drafts for quick notes Notion for storing

    and tracking OmniFocus for projects and tasks
  61. Demo

  62. ⚠ Don’t over-engineer too quickly.

  63. Quick Recap

  64. Quick Recap: Strategies Think like an explorer Action + Speed

    + Feedback = Growth Systems > Motivation
  65. Quick Recap: Tactics One inbox per learning area Project management

    system Review process
  66. Quick Recap: Tools Scratchpad Knowledge base Task manager

  67. samj.im/ls-talk @samjulien

  68. samj.im/ls-talk Thank you! @samjulien