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

Getting going

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.


If you have any thoughts to share on this approach, which might be useful to myself or others, please contact me via Twitter @thisdavehill