Monday, June 21, 2004

How do you train yourself?

For me my path to coldfusion, was half a drive to know more, learn more, be more.

I was working at a Tech Support job for a local ISP. Getting that rapid burn out we all get after time, and wanted to learn more.

For example, I saw a need for an intranet that held all the massively disorganized information, on helping customers. So I started to learn javascript, html, especially from my favorite html book Instant HTML - Programmer's Reference by Steven Wright.

I pushed myself to find out how to create a framed interface, (yes, I know frames suck, but can be a good solution for intranets.)

Anyways I self-taught myself, html, javascript.

And as that went on, I became the webmaster, hostmaster and what not.

But I was never settling for whatever I currently knew, I always wanted to know, learn and master more.

So I was always bothering the web developer, at the ISP's web department to learn more, to learn, what the heck is coldfusion, etc....

And with time,grew to master more and more of my skills.

But as I have gotten older, I have seen how so many (apparently, but not confirmed) people were trained by their companies, or were sent on conferences by their companies.

I just have always wondered, what it took to get more education, the support of even half-way from companies.

Also I wonder what all of your learning paths are like?

I realize things have changed since the dot-com bomb, but if we're all to get better, and there really is no formalized training system, how can we improve other than thru conferences?

Especially if we're all so self-taught, that must inhibit our real awareness of each other's work in terms of quantity and quality.

That's my thought of the day...

How do you train yourself?

5 comments:

  1. Books. Lots of books.

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  2. Anonymous6:18 AM

    When I was a designer n00b, books. Nowadays, however, I just read everything online, or ask a co-worker/friend/contact. Conferences are generally where I'm speaking, but most are smarter than me anyway, so it's great to share ideas, and just talk to learn. The problem is, I've yet to find a company that will send you without having to do a lot of weird work. Additionally, it seems hindered if your a speaker... it's stupid, but I guess they feel if your speaking, your not learning. That was a comment I heard, and naturally, I thought they were full of shiot, but it was from a dude in another department. My dept. hinted that if I represented my company, they'd spot my MXDU 2003 trip... but I didn't wanna lie, hehe.

    60% of my learning is coming home every other night, coding, and reading. Another large part is just working everyday and trying new things while on projects.

    --JesterXL
    --www.jessewarden.com

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  3. books, internet, instructor-led training and conferences. I have both my own books and company purchased.

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  4. I'd love to say it's all in books, but then I just realized that I haven't touched a book other than as a reference for such a long time. I have so many books lying around that I haven't gone through yet because of lack of time. The main source for my learning is trying out something new and seeing if it holds up to the test of time. It's hit or miss, really. I do learn a lot by reading blogs, looking through some devnet articles every now and then, etc. I won't discredit books however, most of them do the job very well if you've got the time and patience.

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  5. Anonymous5:40 PM

    It's been a variety of stuff for me. In the early days it was a mixture of books and classroom learning. Later on it was experimentation and reading with one or two courses and some conferences and seminars.

    But then I started programming at school, initially with programmable calculators and then an elective course in Algol 60. University taught me Basic, Pascal, LISP and a few others while I also learned another dozen languages on my own (from books and experimentation). Post-university I learned on the job sometimes, picking up COBOL, C++, Java and most recently ColdFusion that way, sometimes with the odd course (but those have mostly been on larger issues than languages).

    At the end of the day, languages are just syntax and semantics. Analysis and design are the harder things to learn, along with best practices etc. Learning multiple languages is a very useful tool tho', since it gives you a broader view on your programming in your 'preferred' language...

    Sean A Corfield
    http://www.corfield.org/blog/

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