Best ways to do self-education?

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May 18, 2020
Best ways to do self-education?

Best ways to do self-education?

It is more important than ever to continue to develop your skills throughout your working life. Our industry is changing faster than ever and what was relevant yesterday will not be there tomorrow. I will go through my three best ways to do this in this blog post.

First you need to answer these questions

* What is it you are going to learn?

* Is it a soft or hard skill?

* Is it something you will be able to use on your current workplace or is it something that will help you to get a new job?

Be sure to choose only one topic to focus on, at least no more than two, otherwise nothing will be done. Make a plan for your self-education and follow it up. One way might be to set a deadline or have someone look at how things are going for you and push you to get ready.

Exploring new areas

Bronze medal is to learn something that is far beyond your current knowledge areas

It can also be completely out of your own industry as well. I have done this many times and then realized that I can use this in different everyday situations. A good example of this is when I got the book How to get mental superpowers by Henrik Fexeus, I learned so many things from that book. For example, how to control your own mood and not waste energy on being angry, how to get more creative, speed reading, memory tactics and many more things.

It can also be a whole new skill, for example, if you only did manual testing before you might want to learn something about automation. What is relevant or not is entirely up to you, but do not be afraid to try something new.

It can also be something completely different from what you do regularly, such as learning to dance, to be happier and create more contrast in your life. Our brain will also develop our creativity as we learn something that is completely new to us

Learn new things

Silver medal is combining theory with hands on

The hands on exercises are extremely powerful, your brain must use all your senses. This can be accomplished in many ways. It can be like your own hobby project where you, for example, organize your own CI environment. Or build your own smart home devices with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi.

It can be a workshop on the subject you want to learn that includes exercises. There are many of these, some companies even arrange their own. Make sure to ask your boss that you should go one of these One problem here is that many do not dare to ask because they assume that they will not be allowed to attend the course. A simple justification is that it is an investment in you and the company. You may not need to hire a new person if you attend the training. Your own market value also increases and may be one step closer to your dream job, so dare to ask.

You can also use any of the YouTube videos available with tutorials. Here it is important not only to look but also to do things yourself, so that you get the practical part as well. The great thing about these videos is that you can pause at any time to keep up if things are going too fast, you can also rewind.

Teaching others

Gold medal is to educate others

I love this method and it has helped me develop many skills in recent years. When you do this for the first time, you will realize how powerful this method is. You will probably be uncertain and feel nervous about the new situation you have put yourself in. Then you will realize both how much you already know or that you need to learn more when the participants start asking tricky questions. This also raises your own knowledge to new levels.

The best way to do this is to be prepared and know the material as well as your own life story. You should also ask the participants for feedback and make your own retrospective. This is how you improve and grow as a teacher.

A couple of different variants

There are a couple of different ways to do this as well, which increases the difficulty level. The easiest way is to have a workshop in a classroom where you all meet. I still wouldn’t say it’s easy so maybe I should say the least difficult.

Then you have the same thing, but a new topic for you too. This means that you must study a lot yourself in advance, so that you know the subject you are going to teach. It develops your own skills a lot too. For both the students and you, it is preferable if you have a ready-made material to work with.

The next thing to add on top of these variants is to do it remotely which has been extremely popular now. That is a challenge of its own. Right now, I’m teaching a course both remote and in an almost new subject for me. It has been a huge challenge, but I have never learned so much in such a short time before. An important thing here is not to doubt yourself even when it feels impossible.

The best ways to du self-education summary

Start by answering the questions at the beginning of the blog post so you know what you want to learn. Then decide on the topic and focus on it until you are done with it. There is an exception here if you feel this is completely wrong for you, stop and start over. Finally, the best question you can ask yourself is, what is stopping you from starting your studies right now? The biggest obstacle is probably yourself.

What are your experiences of self-education? Do you think something else should be in the top 3?
I would love to hear about it in that case, it is probably something I have never tried.

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