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How to Balance Work and Learning New Things πŸŽ―πŸ“š

June 20, 2024

As developers, we often find ourselves torn between our work responsibilities and our desire to learn new things. It’s a common struggle, but with the right approach, it’s possible to strike a balance. Here’s some advice from Roman Kotov on how to effectively manage work and learning. πŸ™Œ

1. Separating Work and Learning πŸ•°οΈπŸ§ 

One key strategy is to separate your work and learning times. Consider studying new technologies or concepts during your free time, such as in the mornings before work or during holidays and breaks. This way, your learning doesn’t interfere with your work responsibilities. πŸ“…

2. Learning the Basics πŸŽ“

When learning something new, focus on grasping the basic concepts and getting a high-level overview of the features. You don’t need to be perfect with all the tools right away. Start by reading minimal examples and skimming the documentation. Once you have some experience, you can incorporate the new skills into your workflow. πŸ’‘

3. Continuous Learning πŸ“–

Learning is an ongoing process. In the early years of coding, there’s a steep learning curve as everything is new. Over time, it becomes easier as concepts start to connect. Aim to deepen your knowledge gradually. Remember, learning is a marathon, not a race. Consistency and persistence are key. πŸƒβ€β™€οΈπŸ…

4. Reading Code πŸ‘€πŸ’»

Reading code is an essential skill for developers. While we often enjoy writing code, reading and understanding existing code is crucial for fixing errors and navigating codebases. Practice reading code, even if it’s in an unfamiliar language or syntax. Step back and look at the bigger picture to grasp the overall structure and purpose of the code. πŸ”

5. Asking the Right Questions ❓

When approaching a new project or task, start by asking the right questions:

Why? Understand the goal and the pain point that needs to be solved. 🎯

What? Generate potential solutions and consider alternative approaches. βš™οΈ

How? Determine the best way to reach the goal, taking into account constraints and existing solutions. πŸ› οΈ

6. Learning by Doing πŸš€

The best way to learn is by diving in and creating projects from start to finish. Don’t worry about understanding everything perfectly or writing flawless code. Mistakes and bugs are part of the learning process. Embrace the messiness and learn from it. Over time, your code quality will improve. πŸ’ͺ

7. Understanding the Fundamentals 🧱

While it’s possible to learn programming without formal education, it’s important to grasp the fundamental concepts. University courses may not always teach the latest technologies, but they provide a foundation for learning and problem-solving. Even for self-taught developers, revisiting the fundamentals can be beneficial. πŸŽ“


Remember, balancing work and learning is an ongoing process. Stay curious, be persistent, and embrace the journey of continuous growth as a developer. By implementing these strategies, you can create a sustainable approach to learning while excelling in your current role.