Whenever you start a new job or move to a new job, you’re expected to be able to know and do tasks that you may or may not have previously done. Most of the time, we try to jump right in and our peers and superiors may not have the time to teach you how to complete these tasks. That is why I believe that being able to learn skills through self-teaching, is an invaluable skill. Would it be ideal for someone who has experience to show you the ropes? Yes, of course, that is always helpful, but you’re not learning as much as you could in the process. It is not always about getting to a destination, but sometimes it’s about the process of how you get there.
I remember when I was first interested in learning to code. I didn’t really know anyone who was currently a coder, so I didn’t really know where to start. So, I began doing some research online, watching videos, and reading tutorials online. Let’s just say I was very frustrated early on and almost gave it up altogether, but I am so glad I didn’t. Was it difficult? Yes, but I believed that through the process, I learned two very valuable lessons.
Discovery leads to a greater understanding. Through the process of trial and error, I gained a better understanding of how and why things function as they do. I was able to become better at troubleshooting issues and figuring out the best solutions. It also helped expand my knowledge. I would try three or four different ways to code a project sometimes and I would discover a new skill, platform, or ability. This continued to grow my knowledge of coding and its processes so that I was better prepared for future problems.
Trial and error helped me learn things quicker. Not only was a learning a lot of things, but also learning how to learn. That sounds weird, I know, but let me explain. Being self-taught on a lot of programs and skills, I learned how to use different software and techniques. So, when I was presented with a new coding language or program, I was able to learn it much quicker and efficiently than my peers. One of my first jobs as a web developer, I was tasked to build a new website in four months on a platform that was foreign to me. I spent the first week learning the program and then the following months designing and developing a new website. I not only succeeded in building this website but became a valuable part of the team.
“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost”- Erol Ozan. Sometimes getting lost in the discovery of a solution can lead to the greatest rewards. The road can be very difficult at times, but those who stand strong are more equipped for conquering the mysteries of the road ahead.