5 Ways to Learn a new Skill

As a developer I have often come across people wanting to learn how to program, and in business I have come across a whole lot of people that wants to learn a new skill. The examples I will be giving below will mostly be very relevant to my experience as a developer, but the tips can easily be used on any industry.

1) Tutorials

Tutorials are a nice and practical way of learning a new skill. It not only allows you to learn from someone who has all ready mastered the specific problem you are facing, but it also empowers you to practically do it yourself. A lot of tutorials provide download links for the starter project and resources used and then at the end also provides the completed project free of charge. I would recommend staying away from the last download as the trail and error is more important than getting it to work perfectly the first time around. The trick of tutorials is finding a reliable source, but they are abundant and if a certain style doesn't work for you, it is easy to find another. My best experience with tutorials I can easily say is the Ray Wenderlich blog on iOS, where I picked up a lot of my iOS knowledge.

2) Trail and Error

I briefly touched this in the first section, but trail and error is the best way to really learn something. Fixing an issue on your own and doing the needed research not only teaches you the skill, but it also allows you to discover websites where you can find help on topics you are struggling with. You can ask any professional in any field how they feel about trail and error, and I am certain they will all agree that without it they wouldn't have been where they are today.

3) Q & A Sites

One of the best things of the internet, is Q & A websites that allows you to write a question about your problem and then having the community help you solve the problem. Sometimes they will out right give you the answers and on other occasions they will push you in the right direction to find the solution yourself. These websites are a gold mine of information for learning new skills. My favourite is the StackExchange network of sites.

4) Books

If the going really gets though you can always buy a book. A lot of industry experts have started to self publish e-books, they are affordable and is abundant with hands on samples you can use right there and then. When I set out to learn the meteor framework the best resource I had was Discover Meteor.

5) Videos

Sometimes you need some visual assistance, or if you like to listen to a teacher talking with examples then videos is your answer. Again the internet is abundant with quality resources, some paid for and others free. I usually watch videos on lynda.com when I am not in the mood to read articles, and just want to learn something new, or refresh some old skills.

So all in all there is no excuse for not being able to learn a new set of skills or refresh old ones to be as good as new.


Tags: Resources