Practice

I just watched Corey Haines’ lightning talk from this year’s acts_as_conference:

He makes a lot of really good points in a short amount of time. One of the things he says is that if we have to look at documentation for a technique, we’re unlikely to use that technique when we’re in a time crunch. I think this is a very good point. Another time when I might not use the documentation is when I’m just dabbling.

To learn things, he suggests doing arbitrary tasks repetitively to get them engrained into our minds.

I spent a number of hours doing arbitrary tasks with vim, and I’ve gotten pretty good at using vim IMHO. I wish I could say I was as good at jQuery, but I haven’t got it down as well despite doing real projects in it. I think perhaps it’s best that I pick an arbitrary task, or at least do a real, but small, task repetitively, or keep trying to improve it, until I start to really get the hang of it.

On a side note, Corey Haines’ has quit working a regular job and started traveling around and pair programming with people in exchange for room and board. He calls himself a Software Journeyman. It will be interesting to hear what he learns from the experience. I hope his journey takes him to Arizona at some point!

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