How to Learn with CareerFoundry

I saw a lot of new students starting up the course today, so I thought being an alumi of the program , I'd give some friendly words of advice:

It's not about the answer.

Coming in, you dream about blazing through the course, a new found sense of glory after every little goal is accomplished. Eventually you just want to get through every assignment as fast as possible so you can say, "I did it! I completed the course! I'm a genius!"

I think maybe the best parts of the course, are when they drop the hand-holding a bit and give you your moment to shine. Or when you run into some unexpected problem (this will happen), and you have no idea what the problem even is, let alone an answer. These moments are not easy.  They are incredibly annoying. They're also a blessing. They help you learn problem solving, programming logic, and make full use of your brain. Savor these moments, especially in a low-pressure environment such as the course.

                         (My main CareerFoundry project, after redesigning it twice after the course had finished.)

In the same vein, use your mentor as a tool to learn about how things work, rather than just try to get the simple answer. In the long run, the answer doesn't really matter. It's the process of learning how to do it yourself that counts the most.

Currently, I'm working on a paid project that is immensely complex and I don't have much margin for error. I don't have a mentor to fall back on. It's scary stuff. I had a nightmare about it last night,... (A developer sternly told me, "I was an idiot and had no idea what I was doing." I woke up in a cold sweat.)

But luckily, I've worked very hard to LEARN the material backwards and forwards. I redid portions of the course when I had to, and I continued to make my own projects after the course ended. I befriended other hard-working students from the course and developers outside the course. I helped other students. I listened to podcasts about coding. I read books about coding. I still do all these things.

After all this experience, I know that I can find answers if I work at it hard enough. Even when I'm muddling around in languages and frameworks I don't fully understand yet. I may slam my fist in frustration, or yell to my plastered ceiling about "why Laravel is the stupidest framework in history,", and it may take many many hours,  but in the end I know I'll figure it out.

Trust in the Process

So when you're in the course, and after hours and hours find yourself inevitably thinking, "I JUST NEED THE ANSWER";   Think again. The answer doesn't help you in the long run.  But don't worry, you're not the first person to think that it will. I was there too. So was every other student in the Career Foundry program.

When you find yourself at that point where you are dying for that answer, thirsting for it with your very soul... take a break. Come back refreshed and ask yourself this instead:


"How can I use this problem to become a better developer?"

2 comments on "How to Learn with CareerFoundry"

Useful post, Kenneth!
Cappuccio Anna Costalonga 05/19/2016
Linkedin Kenneth Gould 06/01/2019

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