How I Tech Myself New Skills

It seems that there is a new service or a new way of doing something coming out every day when it comes to tech and cloud computing and sometimes it can be a bit of a task to keep up with it all.

I wanted to write to post to explain how I go about learning new services and skills to either help others who are trying to find a good place to start or just to show those who read this how my brain works.

So the approach I take to anything new that I am trying to learn is normally summed up in a simple sentence, “If I can teach it, I typically then understand it”. How I do this is when I learn something new I will make either a blog or a Youtube video tutorial on it.

What this does is it allows me to understand how much I have learned and how much I understand of this new service/skill, because it’s pretty hard to make a video tutorial of something you have no idea how to use, so this becomes my benchmark of how much I know.

I now have my benchmark that I go for when learning something, so now let me explain my general approach to learning something new, let’s say for pure example I want to learn Kubernetes, below are quick points in order on how I approach this.

  1. Look for online videos - I find videos within 10 minutes are good for quick-to-the-point explanations. I don’t expect to learn something in 10 minutes, it’s more just so I can quickly understand what something is and how it works.
  2. Get my hands dirty - If you are anything like me then there is only so much you can watch/read before falling asleep, so what I do is look for a way where I can start playing around with in this case Kubernetes. The good thing is Kubernetes comes bundled with Docker for Desktop so it makes it a great way to get into it.
  3. Set a small project - Now that I have played around with Kubernetes and I understand what it can do to some extent I would then set myself a little project to try and complete, something like hosting a blog website. Now, this could take days to complete, but the idea behind this is that there is now a goal to work towards, and doing this will no doubt lead me down a path of breaking things and searching Google for answers which is all learning.
  4. Make a blog/video - Now when I start to learn something, in this case how to host a small blog on Kubernetes I will then either make a blog post or video about it. Now, this isn’t so much as a guide for others but more a way to cement what I have learned into my head, because like I mentioned before, if you can explain something in detail and guide someone on how you did something then you tend to understand it more. There have been countless times where I think I understand something well, go to make a video about it, and then have no idea how to explain how something works and then have to go back and figure it out.
  5. Repeat - Once I have figured out how something works and have made my blog or video I then go back and repeat the process but this time I start at number 3. I find myself another project, in this case, it could be “How do I make my blog website scalable and fault-tolerant?” I keep doing this until I feel like I understand something well.

So, this is my process of learning new skills, I hope you found it useful and or insightful!