Illusion of Competence

Problem
You read and understand material, but you’re struggling to apply it. What should you do?

Solution
After consuming material, attempt to apply it on your own with minimal help.

Comments
It’s always easier to read or watch then do it ourselves. This concept is called Illusion of Competence, and it impacts our ability to learn. It asserts that just because we see and understand a problem, it doesn’t mean we can solve it.

Chunking Information

Problem
You want to improve your ability to recall information.

Solution
Group concepts you’re learning into chunks. Then, work on understanding each chunk in turn.

Comments
Chunking is the process of grouping concepts into small packages of information that make it easier for the brain to access. For example, if you understand and practice a design pattern, you no longer need to focus as much to apply it.

Learning Difficult and Abstract Things

Problem
You want to know how to learn hard and abstract subjects.

Solution
Practice. The more abstract a topic is, the more important practice becomes.

Comments
Practice strengthens neural connections that make abstract ideas concrete. Example: Practice programming language idioms so they can be easily recalled and applied.

array.map { |element| element * element }

Dealing with Procrastination

Problem
You want to know how to cope with procrastination.

Solution
The best thing to do is start. Consider using the Pomodoro technique.

Comments
Why do we procrastinate? Learning something new or doing something you’d rather not cause discomfort. Our brain looks for a way to quell the discomfort by switching our attention to something more pleasant. Research has shown the neuro-discomfort we experience disappears not long after we get going on the task. Note: The better we get at something, the more enjoyable it becomes.