It’s the second Tuesday of the month so it must be T-SQL Tuesday! Time to get our learning on.
Thank you to Malathi Mahadevan (b|t) for hosting this month’s challenge. Her topic is to set learning goals for the new year with a threefold approach:
- What do you want to learn? (Specific skills and talents)
- How and when do you want to learn? (Methods of learning and timeline on learning)
- How do you plan to improve on what you learned? (Putting it to use at work/blogging/speaking)
At a previous job, we once had a professional development session that talked about a couple of different learning styles – aural, visual, and kinesthetic, although I seem to remember this last one being referred to more as a big picture style. (But you can learn more about these here.) I fall somewhere between the visual and kinesthetic side, although it’s much closer to kinesthetic.
I know there is some debate of these styles, but I think this really accurate in terms of how I learn things. I like being an “active” learner because I feel I learn the best when I can actually put things into action. I do like reading blogs or going to see sessions in person because I learn about the things I should know and get the basic groundwork. But it isn’t until I can put them into a real-world scenario that those concepts truly hit home.
Unfortunately, I can’t just hear something and learn it; I need the visual prompts or some form of interaction to go with it.
My biggest problem is always figuring out ways to apply what I’m learning. One of the things on my long-term wish list is to set up better testing for the various projects that I work on that are specific to me and my work. It is the perfect opportunity for me to set up my own automated testing. There are a lot of great tools out there that will help me with this. My goal for this upcoming year is to find a way I can use those and build them into my daily process.
I’m reluctant to be more specific with my goals than this. On the one hand, figuring out how to automate testing does have a lot of moving parts and it’s not a minor thing to implement properly. There is definitely a learning curve to go with it. But it still feels rather broad, especially since I haven’t figured out all the details yet. However, I don’t want to be more specific with more goals because I often find that as soon as I start down one track, something comes up and I wind up in a different direction. The upside to just learning about what the trends are and new functionalities is that just knowing what’s out there has made a difference. I feel like I’m on the right track with this so I want to commit to continuing down that path over the next year.
There is always something new to learn – even for the things that we think we already know. The key is to being open to it, in all the forms that come your way, and figure out how to make it work for you.
Now go out there and keep learning!