3 thoughts
last posted May 14, 2016, 1:47 p.m.
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I wrote How to quickly become effective when joining a new company ages ago. It's about how to learn in an environment where:

  • You are trying to get stuff done and learning is your secondary objective
  • There is vastly more to learn than you can reasonably learn before you are expected to start producing useful output.

The strategy described is I think useful outside of that scope, but I suspect there are better strategies when those are not your precise constraints.


I've been using a Read/Code/Bike/Repeat learning strategy a lot recently.

How does this work?

  1. Read a paper.
  2. Write some code based on the paper. It probably won't work.
  3. Go for a bike ride in which I'm forcibly isolated from the internet (checking your phone while on a bike is hazardous to your health!) and have to think about it in isolation. Probably figure out some useful insights as a result.
  4. Go back to step 1.

And basically repeating this process until I feel satisfied with my understanding of things.

Obviously this doesn't require an actual bike ride. Anything which disconnects you from external influences will do, but I think the exercise element might actually be a helpful part of it.


Quoting myself:

The problem is that in general it’s really hard to write books for the “expert” because every expert is different. If you’re writing a book for use as a reference manual that’s fine because you can just make it a bunch of self-contained sections, but if you want to write something intended to be read from cover to cover I think the best you can really do is write something targeted at beginners in increasingly specific niches.