Jake Trent

The Important Part of Learning is Outcomes

It matters more what you do with your learning than what you learn.

Why Learn?

Why do you learn new things? Why do you approach a new programming language? Why do you want to learn?

We all feel like growing. And growing, in itself, brings its own kind of satisfaction.

I hear “What should I learn?” or “How should I learn it?” a fair bit. Why do you ask? What do you plan to do with your new learning?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

Thomas Stearns Eliot

Having your head full of stuff doesn’t change the world. Perhaps it won’t even change you internally. This depends on who you become or what you do with the learning.

Project-guided Learning

The advice I give to yearner/learners the most is to start a side project or two.

This is a way to force yourself to begin with the end in mind. You have to know what you want to accomplish, then you have to discover the matching curriculum, and learn by doing.

Having a side project (or many, unfinished in my case :) is a great way to learn.

Yes, the curriculum you discover might not be the most well-formed, complete, efficient, or academically correct, who knows. But at least you know it’s practical!

If you finish your project, your education worked, and it was worth it. You learned and then produced exactly what you needed.

This is worth inherently more than some “completed” learning but lack of action or implementation. This is not to say that long, organized curriculum, perhaps in the form of a university degree, is not useful. It’s just that once you’ve increased your potential for work after graduation, you still have the opportunity and responsibility to act on what you’ve learned.

Let’s all learn, but let’s know why we’re learning. And by knowing why, perhaps we’ll learn more of the right things in a useful way that helps us get things done.