How to Learn New Tech FAST

Learning new tech can be like going to WAR.

  • It takes courage (to enter the unknown)
  • It takes pain tolerance (to sit with discomfort)

In other words, serious levels of WILL is required.

But learning new tech doesn't have to be taxing.

Sense-based learning can cut the effort in half (it did for me).

Technique 1. Minimal Viable Code Snippet

Find the smallest possible code snippet that exemplifies the theory you're learning, and get it to run it locally.

Poke at it.

See what happens.

Poking will skyrocket your understanding because you're mining first-hand experience.

Technique 2. Non-tech Analogy

Some concepts are too big to be run as code snippets.

And putting every single concept you learn into practice is too time-consuming.

So what we can do instead is think up non-tech analogies that exemplify the theory.

Example: Scaling a Bakery

I'm currently reading Designing Data-Intensive Applications. It's about distributed systems – huge topic! – very scary!! If I were to build something for every new concept in this book, I'd finish when I'm 60. So this is where non-tech analogies come in handy.

For instance, the different types of systems scaling can be compared to managing a bakery:

  • Vertical scaling = paying the bread baker more money
  • Horizontal scaling = hiring another bread baker

See how this brings it down?

Senses Are Your Best Friend

Both these techniques have the same premise: jargon is the enemy.

Jargon will trick you into thinking you understand something you really don't.

Abstractions shut off the brain.

Instead, dumb down every new concept to something you can either try or analogize.

Our nervous system is way older than our neocortex.

Bring it down to the senses.

Hey friend, I'm Gus

Hey friend, I'm Gus

I'm a self-taught web engineer.

Here I share my best lessons on how to navigate the information age as a dev. Get it straight to your inbox: