Creating A Learning Path
When we think of learning, we think of it as a journey from beginner to expert. We start at the beginning of the path knowing nothing about the subject; then we travel along the path picking up bits of knowledge until we reach the finish line that declares us an expert.
However, In reality, there is no finish line. There is always something new to learn. There is an increase in the emergence of new technologies and many more. With this, it will be unrealistic to start a journey towards becoming an expert. But in the ideal sense, you can grow and become an expert(expertise) in a technology or a subject matter.
Furthermore, taking a broad picture of this learning path, most people assume its smooth and straight ahead, but this isn’t true the learning path is a bit rusty with lots of curves, ups and downs and this best implies that you learn along this path and still come back to pick up some bits you missed and this process continues.
The process of not having a clear path towards learning is as a result of lack of proper planning towards learning. We pick up something new and rev the engine, then there we go, we are learning. This learning style is very much redundant for the information age. Instead, you should rather look at learning as four distinct parts which are:
This is the stage where you learn the fundamental concepts related to what you are learning. From this track, you pick up the basic concepts underlying what you are learning. Concerning programming, you learn data types, arrays, variables and many more.
The fundamental knowledge is very much vital because they are widely applicable and they rarely become obsolete. A good example is Object Oriented Programming and Functional Programming. Learning the fundamentals of OOP and functional programming will make coding easier for you; it also equips you with the ability to learn any programming language in a short period.
However, you may be used to learning a fundamental concept using several different approaches before it sinks in, but once it does, it can last a lifetime.
To learn, you must acquire knowledge and information relating to the subject matter. Your fundamental knowledge may cover a broad concept, but information starts focusing on specifics. For example, Fundamental teaches you how an integer is stored; information shows you how to declare an integer in a language and many more.
A solid understanding of fundamentals gives you a huge advantage when it comes to learning and understanding a particular thing.
Learning to do things is what the skills path is about. Schools do a good job teaching fundamentals and even some information, but real skills are not taught.
Knowing and not having the skills to translate them into reality is a disaster. The key things to remember is that fundamentals help you to learn and process information. While Information is the specific knowledge, you need to solve problems, and skills are the ability required to use knowledge to solve problems.
Additionally, do note that people pay you to do things, not to know things.
Innovators don’t find knowledge, they create it, and they invent it — Isaac Asimov
Learning fundamentals, information, and skills equip you with the expertise to solve problems and with the ability to create more knowledge by inventing it. The innovation track is an extension of every other track which represents the journey beyond competence.
Learning is easy when you plan adequately before starting the journey.
Start by learning the fundamentals, gather information, build up your skills and most importantly, work on a project and create something.