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Acquiring skills usually means: practicing, practicing and practicing.

I had the very same problem in software dev - I knew how to code, I knew how to read source code, but I had no clue how I should structure my program, build an architecture, etc. And yes, while there are books which will talk you through certain architectures, you still need to acquire an understanding on a much broader base. You might not want to structure your bread-and-butter software in a way the linux kernel is structured, for example - for reasons that become obvious once you've gathered enough knowledge to understand why certain things are working the way they are working.

So I just kept practicing stuff, kept reading pattern books, kept reading source code - and tried to find the patterns I learned. Also, I tried to read a lot of "post-mortems" of failed and successful projects, so that I could get a clue what works and what doesn't. At the end, though, I got most of the knowledge while actually building programs and failing at them.

I'm pretty sure there is something like "patterns" in electronics. It might make sense to dig books that resembles these. While I'm not that knee-deep into electronics, I think you might be able to recognize certain patterns after a lot of practicing.

My advice would be: Grab an easy to understand electronic device, disassemble it, and try to rebuild the schematic with your components. You might want to start with your radio clock, for instance. This would be how I'd acquire the skills necessary. You didn't mention your existing skill set, so replace "radio clock" with whatever you think might work for you. However, keep in mind that you are a) a single person and b) have only a certain amount of time at hand. I wouldn't expect a hobbiyst to decipher and fully rebuild a modern, high-tech device. Also, to keep yourself motivated, you might want to set smaller milestones.

Maybe digging through some repair guides could help? E.g.: http://www.industrial-electronics.com/Diagnose-Repair-Elec_0... or https://www.amazon.com/How-Diagnose-Everything-Electronic-Se... ?

Oh, and: Once you are done, write a book about it. Maybe you just discovered a niche that isn't filled yet. :)

(sorry for that wall of text, it grew while writing)

While i agree in general with your post;

> Acquiring skills usually means: practicing, practicing and practicing.

I really disagree with this much repeated simplistic prescription. This is sort of a pet peeve of mine and so let me elaborate. "Mindless" practice is worse then useless. You need full involvement of your mind asking the What/Why/How and building a mental framework as you practice else you cannot build on what you learn. As an example, note all the time wasted by students solving Maths problems using the "plug and chug" method. Another example is the vast army of Arduino programmers doing "copy & paste" programming. Both have their places but you cannot really grow with such an approach. The right way to Practice is what the researcher Anders Ericsson calls as "Deliberate Practice" in his book "Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise".

One of my favourite quotes (from Chinese Martial Arts) that i periodically remind myself of goes;

"To show one the right direction and the right path, oral instructions from a master are necessary, but mastery of a subject comes only from one's own incessant self-cultivation".

There is a lot to unpack and learn from the above deceptively simple quote.


Google Translate :

"The original words are: the master leads the door, and the practice depends on the individual."

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