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Feb 12, 2022 - 3 minute read - Racket Career Advice

Tips on Learning... Anything

TLDR; Reading is fine. But at some point we have to put it into action. Identify an appropriate “thing”, Try it in a controlled environment, Apply it in the real world.

Identify, Try, Apply

This content was originally created using Racket. Listen to the Audio on Racket.com

So, I am frequently asked how do I learn software testing and the heuristic for this applies to anything, it’s pretty much “How do I learn anything?”.

Because our brains operate on the basis of “we’re learning stuff!”

So they take the same approach each time, it doesn’t really matter what it is.

So my heuristic for this is: Identify, Try, Apply.

What we do is we start reading the material, we identify something that we can actually put into action, and we stop at that point.

We don’t just keep Reading and plowing through lots of stuff.

We stop until we have actually done something with that potential knowledge.

Try means find an example where that will work, so that we know that the technique or whatever it is we’re putting into practice, is going to deliver some results and we can learn from it.

Apply means use it in the real world because in the real world, things can go wrong. And if we immediately jump to apply, we might not know whether it’s the technique, that’s wrong, our application of it, or the application, or thing that we’re attempting to apply it to.

So:

Identify find something. Don’t go forward until you have done something with it.

Try it in a controlled environment.

Apply it in the real world.

And that is how we’re going to learn.

We don’t have to get all the theory.

We just start putting it in our heads so head can make sense of it and build up the experience.

I wrote a fairly long post on Patreon for my Patreon supporters to explain my speed reading process and how it fits into this type of learning process.

I have written a tonne of applications and games to provide a “Try” environment.

A safe environment to experiment with.

Notably:

I released an ebook of about 80 pages or so to Patreons filled with exercises to “Try” on my Pulper application.

At some point I hope to tidy that up and make it public.

Applying our test techniques in the real world can be hard because we don’t know if there will be a ‘result’ that leads to information (something we didn’t expect), or if the ‘result’ is confirmation of what we expected.

This was originally written 2021-06-11T09:28:00Z but I forgot to move it out of draft mode.


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