I’ve been exploring ways to encourage myself to spend more time on professional development. Making a commitment to study every evening, when I get home from work, isn’t going to succeed without building up to it.
The idea of limiting the time spent coding and allocating time for writing notes; with the intention of creating a blog post, has become my favourite. I have written a few rules to guide me and keep me on track.
An hour of learning
- Limit coding to 40 minutes for a specific outcome
- Even if it doesn’t work as expected, STOP!
- Make notes about what isn’t working and turn it in to one or more questions, this should take no more than 10 minutes
- Make notes on went well, this should take no more than 10 minutes
- Commit work to a GitHub repository
Writing a blog post
There should be a good foundation for a blog post, which can be developed on a weekend to reinforce what was learned from doing the coding activity. To complete the blog post:
- Write one or two leading paragraphs
- Include what went well
- Research and answer any questions (with links to resources)
- Add code examples and a link to the GitHub repository
- Acknowledge any help from the community
Beginning in January 2019, I will aim to use this approach at least once a week. I think it will work well, alongside regular reading, to reinforce existing skills and establish new knowledge.