An important non-technical lesson to learn as a junior developer.

There is one very valuable non-technical lesson that I have learnt in my journey as a developer. This is that you need to figure out your learning style quite early. By using your preferred style, you can optimise the time you spend learning new topics. These topics can often need new mindsets and ways of thinking.

Why are learning styles important?

Some people learn by listening, some by observing and others by a more hands-on approach. It is important to know your preferred style as it can save time. You might spend this time reading a book, watching a tutorial, or listening to someone speak. Which all, put me to sleep if I am being honest. Spending too much time stuck on one topic can lead us to feel demotivated. As a developer trying to learn new things, feeling demotivated is the last thing you want.

How can you figure out your learning style?

There are quizzes and online tests you can take but for me, it was a matter of trying things and seeing how they went. Depending on the topic, it may be difficult to find the right materials for your preferred style. I would start with reading, then realise it wasn’t working. I would then go to youtube and look for quality videos, then I may get bored. Finally, I would go hands-on. This is what worked for me. Warming up with a quick read, then a video, then spending the rest of my time hands-on was how I would learn the quickest.

What to do once you have figured out your preferred style?

Use it. Simple as that. It is important to stay consistent on this journey as a developer. We need to keep learning and practising. Use your preferred style to reduce the time you take to absorb technical topics so you can make progress. Progress will keep you motivated.