Set A Goal Before Learning

The world sure has changed a lot, compared to when I first started web development. No longer constricted to RTFM (Read The Fine Manual) and learning by hand on how to get things right. Today, there are a lot of website such as Codecademy offering lessons and tutorials. There is just one problem with that…

As I mentioned, I learned by doing back in late 90’s and early 2k era. By doing, I meant having a task to be completed and only the manual to accompany me to complete the task. Often times, there are not a manual in sight. However I have a target.

Today, people have the complete manual, including lessons and tutorials, but no target. They are simply do not have any idea what to do with all those knowledge. Which leads to this question on webdeveloper forum.

People simply have the general idea that coding is good and necessary to have a great career. But they lack direction. Because they are not in the workforce, they simply do not understand how their newly acquired knowledge can be applied in the real world.

So, my advice is : Before learning, have a specific task that you want to accomplish, then learn the necessary skills.

For example, if you want to build a blog engine, you need to learn php, html and css. Javascript is optional. You can also pick other web development languages other than php, such as asp, vb, perl or even Java if you like.

Plus you will also need to learn a little about installation of web server such as apache and database such as mysql.

This way, as you learn, you apply the knowledge directly. You will learn a lot of things along the way. Some things just cannot be taught using lessons and tutorials.

So, next time you want to learn something, set a goal first, before you start your lessons.