Learn by Doing

It can be hard to learn how to do something technical, like repair a wheel bearing, use formulas in Excel, or (you guessed it) adopt some new technology on the web. But in my experience, it’s nearly impossible to learn these kinds of things from a distance. I’ve tried to pick up stuff like this by just reading about it, or listening to other people talk about it, and I always just end up spinning my wheels.

Right now I’m trying to learn “mobile first” which, in my case, means learning Singularity + Breakpoint, which means learning Compass, which means learning Sass, which means learning how to run Ruby + Ruby Gems + RVM.

No doubt, it’s been good for me to look, read, and listen. But at some point I just need to DO. I need to dive in, make a ton of mistakes and get a ton of correction.

So I am, and I am, and I will.

And if my pride takes a hit, then that’s good for me. If I’m uncomfortable being up to my armpits in command line, then that’s good for me too. And if, by taking those hits, I’m more competent tomorrow than I am today, then that’s really good for me.

(by the way, there’s a ton of great resources that help you learn by doing, like websites for learning programming, Excel addins for learning spreadsheets, and apps that teach you how to draw)