Learning quickly and efficiently for EVER!

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Learning quickly and efficiently for EVER!

When I first started learning how to code and before diving into the concepts of programming, it was imperative that I needed to learn how to learn and understand what worked best for me.

In January, my unemployed self was scrolling endlessly on Twitter when I saw a tweet from someone who talked about a free coding Bootcamp on Twitch called #100Devs instructed by Leon Noel who would be starting that same day a few hours later.

If you don't know what Twitter and Amazon are or if they are still around once you're reading this, Twitter is an online news and social networking site where people communicate in short messages called tweets. Twitch is the world's leading video platform and community for gamers owned by Amazon and streams content besides just gaming.

I figured I had nothing to lose and quickly read everything on Leon's website, watched a few videos on YouTube from the previous cohort Leon instructed and signed up.

I was committed to learning a new skill that day with the hopes of becoming a Full-Stack Software Engineer.

The first class was setting up my mindset and prepared me for my tough learning journey, which would be cumulative. I was warned!

I learned about how to make sure to take care of myself, stay hydrated, take breaks, manage my procrastination with the Pomodoro technique, and find a community of people to go through the difficulties with.

Some of the tips for learning something new:

  • While reading, once you get to the end of a paragraph stop & try to recall what you've just read.

  • Say what you've just learned aloud.

  • Talk to a pet, an object like a stuffed animal/toy.

  • Finished a chapter, try to recall everything.

  • Do not take notes jot down questions!

It was during this first introductory class that I learned that the education system that I participated in my whole life had failed me. They just did not teach us how to learn! I realized I was taught how to memorize.

I was introduced to this tool called Anki. It is a study practice that can enable us to do a quarter of the work and get better results because it uses an algorithm to help with learning something new.

The Forgetting Curve

I was aware that there was a chance of forgetting what I've learned but learning that there is an 80% chance that it was possible that I would forget what I just learned was eye-opening. This is why something called Active Recall and Spaced repetition is an important practice to implement within one's learning journey. We're able to flatten that forgetting curve by reviewing the material often, leading us to have a harder time forgetting this newfound material.

What is Active Recall?

Active Recall is practicing remembering the information you've just learned by trying to move that material from short-term to long-term memory.

What is Spaced Repetition?

Spaced Repetition is seeing the same material repeatedly, which would lead to a 20% chance of actually remembering what we've learned.

Remember that tool Anki?

Yeah, it's important to use Anki every day. Don't just mine the internet and find other Anki cards to study use your own because making our cards, is in itself the practice of spaced repetition, active recall and consistency.

Resources for learning how to learn: