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Ask HN: What is your single best advice for studying / acquiring new skills?
12 points by ilia_lotov 11 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments

The sooner you start something and start failing. Get yourself into a feedback loop of try/fail/try again/fail less/etc/etc

You can read and research all day long, but that does not build skill.

Test your own ideas by writing and sharing. Hopefully the feedback you get from peers and anons online will be helpful.

> You can read and research all day long, but that does not build skill.

This is honestly what gets me every. single. time.

I’ll get stuck and I have no idea where to reach out for help and I’ll start trying to research, fight with google filters, then decide to put it off and start researching other things (for the same project or a different one) and eventually give up.

This was my issue, and apart of the reason I've been experimenting with this: https://django.curaffe.com

I work a lot with Django and simply mapped out the ecosystem, and then put a search layer on top of it.

If I can get a little traction with this one then I would happily roll one out for each of the other language and framework ecosystems.

At least now there are a few slack groups and forums I can ping into when I get stuck.

Just get on with it without wasting time trying to find the best way. Suboptimal methods achieve better results than not starting.

My favorite:

"The idea is to study by lecturing out-loud, to an imaginary class, about the key concepts you need to learn. Something about articulating arguments in complete sentences cements them in your mind like nothing else."

from http://calnewport.com/blog/2007/08/02/the-straight-a-gospels...

Stop looking for the perfect advice/best method/non-existing silver bullet and just do it.

For me:

Get book on the subject, read from cover to cover and create question/answer in Anki.

When it comes time to refresh your knowledge on the book, just test yourself on the items you added to Anki.

Do you have an Anki to share?

I wouldn't use pre-made Anki files. Creating your own is part of the learning-process. Plus you are the only one who knows what you don't know :)

Break it down into small incremental bits and dedicate ten minutes per day, every day. Once you've done this regularly for a month or two, you'll have a better sense of where to go from there.

Don't do it unless you plan to treat it seriously.

Create a project that depends on that skill.

Want to learn a language? Plan a trip to a place that speaks that.

Want to learn circuitry? Build a digital clock.


I like to apply the things i learn and enjoy how they change the way i work or do tasks!

(for anything "doable") learn by doing. Practice is the best teacher.

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