Tips to Speed Up the Learning Process
Although these tips might be geared toward the technology profession, many are simply
Start with Concepts
This is perhaps the most important piece of information I will give you in the technical skills game. The ability to quickly adopt and understand new technologies will be enhanced if you start with their concepts. In technology, that is what the technology is trying to achieve, or its
Many technologists are obsessed with knowing every command and tool at their disposal, but their grasp of when and how to apply them is often poorly defined. Unfortunately, when those screens and
I have been chastised by some
I understand that the AS/400 is a highly optimized multithreaded platform, with an operating system tied closely to the hardware. I understand that you can run thousands of users on the platform, something that a PC
But I am not speaking in terms of how the platform
The differences are academic.
This might sound simplistic, but it has allowed me, in my career, to take on projects using systems that I had virtually no exposure to. I would look at the conceptual understanding of what we were trying to achieve and then learn the semantic particulars of the new system in question.
Start with the conceptthe whyand the process will closely follow.
Don't Study What You Know
As technology changes or new tools are developed, don't
The fact is, most of the concepts that you knew before have changed little, if at all. A cursory view of a book exposes items that are new or different. You must then determine if these items are truly new in concept and approach or simply in
You need to understand new concepts well. These are the items that you should spend time learning. Slightly
Don't Worry About Catching the Latest Trend
Because of the emphasis on the
of technology, many technologists become process driven. Because of this conceptual
The idea is that if the technologists spend time learning the wrong thing, the right thing will pass them by and they will have missed the chance to learn the hot technology of the day. This, in turn, will negatively impact their career.
However, if you adopt a concept-driven approach to learning technology, this fear will be reduced. Instead, learn to identify the key concepts that are
This is why understanding the role of technology is more critical than understanding any given technology. Particular technology is just the tool for achieving a particular job. The technology is not the result; the solution is the resultor at least it should be.
During the initial years of the dot-com revolution, my company used to have a phrase:
"E does not equal S."
Simply put, it
In truth, if you understand the role of technology and technology concepts, you can quickly change gears and adopt the "hot" tool.
Focus on Solutions, Not Technology
This goes hand in hand with understanding the role of technology. The fear of being left out of the latest technology is built on the misunderstanding of what companies want. If you are effective at solving business challenges with technology, your career will flourish.
Management will be less likely to focus on the tools currently at your disposal if your track record is one where, regardless of technology used, you provide a solution.
I worked for a large law firm that had an incredible IT manager. He was focused on solutions, not the tools to achieve them. When a project (read challenge) arose, our first task was to create a vision for its solution, not
"How would you solve this?" was the question. As answers and ideas were tossed around the
When doing so, we always started with the known tools because they were easier to adopt. However, if
There was never a question of whether you had actually used the tool. The focus was on whether the solution was well conceived.
Focus on solutions, not on the technology to achieve them.