Yes, I am a computer science engineer, but I graduated back in 1992, so in order to get my coding skills back up I am going through an accelerated refresher course. Here is what it takes me to master new concepts via self study. It might inform people that are writing presentations / courses to train others:

  1. I speed read through a chapter to vaguely familiarise me with the new concepts, I don't even attempt to understand the code examples.
  2. Put the material away.
  3. I re-read the whole text properly now, forcing myself to continue if I don't get things 100%. It is here where my brain starts protesting ("please do something else, this is boring").
  4. Put the material away.
  5. Now, I go through everything and don't continue until I understood everything
  6. Finally, I start doing exercises, and discover that I actually did not get some basic things, forcing me to go back into the text
  7. In a few bursts of effort I complete the exercises.

The rest pauses in between are key to me understanding this. In the earlier phases of the process, my brain is fighting boredom, and the last phases, my brain is literally stuck, needs to pause, but somehow gets itself together to crack on.

Cover image by Vincent van Zalinge on Unsplash

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