Why I don't finish all my Udemy courses
Learning by yourself can be overwhelming. Let's get some of that weight out of the way.
I used to feel bad about not finishing the courses I bought. Not anymore.
As a self-taught developer, I always felt the need to know about a lot of different topics and guide myself through the enormous amount of content out there.
For any new subject, I would find many different resources, free or paid. And ending up with a massive list of half-watched courses has always made me feel really frustrated.
But here's the secret: you don't owe the course instructor anything. There, I said it. You can take that off your shoulders now.
Your real goal is optimizing your learning process. And passively consuming content doesn't make you learn it. Applying the content does.
So here's what I do now: I find a problem.
With a problem to solve, I pick 3 or 4 resources that can help me solve that problem. I go with them trying to understand the topic just enough to keep going.
Having a problem forces you to think about different approaches before knowing the tools. When you start learning the tools available, you already have a use for them, so you're actually practicing.
Let's say you want to learn a new framework.
Instead of watching all the videos and reading all the content available on the internet (and not retaining anything), commit to building a simple project. And I mean SIMPLE - don't start building the next big social media platform just yet!
As you go through the different resources, do this:
Learn just enough to solve your problem (creating a new project, adding authentication, fetching user data, etc)
Understand why it works the way it does (or doesn't)
Find out the best practices for that
Move on to the next part of your project (or a new project) and iterate
As a bonus, you're developing another essential soft skill: problem-solving. This is a must-have for any software engineer, and that's how you get better at it.
In summary, building something real is the best shot you have at understanding a topic.
Granted, you can still read documentation just for fun (I do that more than I'd like to admit). But if you want to optimize your learning process of a new technical subject, that's the best way I've found over the years.
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With all that, I don’t feel the need to finish all the courses anymore. They’ve served their purpose: to teach me something new. How I want to learn is completely up to me.
Be the agent of your own learning process. Take full responsibility for it.
Learn what you need and move on. No hard feelings.
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