Education doesn’t finish at the end of the degree. In reality, we can never stop learning as the market always demands professionals with the latest skills. This is inherently the case when looking at IT.
Fast professional coders are 10% to 25% faster than slower professional coders. It’s easy to understand why companies spend staggering amounts of money to secure talented professionals.
Upskilling yourself isn’t just important, it’s vital to remain ahead and relevant in your industry. So how can you learn everything you need to know and still work full-time?
Here are 5 tips to help you learn more efficiently.
Visualisation is an incredibly powerful tool to learn and there are many ways to use this method. Some people learn by making up a visual journey or story technique to recall content that isn't easy to see. Others visuals webs in their mind and how the information in those webs link together to solve a problem.
Not all of us are visual learners who find it easy to make up stories in our minds. This is where a simple pencil and notebook come in handy. Drawing diagrams is a simple way to get ideas out of your head. It can also help a learner to retain information and understand complex scenarios. Learners can better understand how ideas, words and concepts are all connected by sketching it. Learners find it easier to recall visualisations and imagery compared to complex sentences or equations.
Chunking refers to organising information in groups so it’s easier to recall later. The short term memory can only hold seven (plus or minus two) pieces of information at a time. But studies show if the chunking technique is used, much more can be recalled. Take CeBIT’s phone number, if you had to remember 0292803400 it would be very hard, but if you break it into chunks, 02 9280 3400, it’s much easier to recall.
This technique is usually split into three methods; grouping, organising or identifying patterns. Whatever chunking method you choose, you are likely to understand and retain more information in a shorter time period.
4. Teach it
To truly test your understanding of a complex issue, or any subject matter, see if you would be able to teach it to a friend. If your comprehension of the subject matter is deep enough you should be able to confidently teach your friend who knows nothing about it. If you struggle, or find it difficult to explain in simple terms how things work and interconnect, you’ve discovered a weak spot that needs further time and research.
5. Take a test online
Studies have found that a practice test can double free recall. While multiple choice tests are good, practical tests that require longer answers and more complex problem solving skills improve memory. If you’re improving your coding skills, there are plenty of resources online with practice tests you can take for free.
Bonus tip: Pursuing further education or upskilling doesn’t need to cost the world, or take years to complete. Watch Scott’s inspiring TedX exploring how he’s getting a college education in computer science for less than $2000 and under 12 months.
Learning new skills is challenging, however if you’re passionate about what you’re trying to learn and you take onboard some of the techniques discussed in this article, you’re setting yourself up for success.
Are you learning a new skill to start your own business or increase your freelancing scope? Download our guide on tips how to start your own start-up.