As everybody in software development knows, or should know, that studying and experimenting is something one must do to stay on top of the game. That said this time I'm writing about my experiences and ideas of studying. In this post I'll be covering different methods of studying and how I feel about them and what other types of resources are available.
Reading a book
Reading a book is probably the most traditional way of studying and I do read a few books every year. To me this is a way to learn theory and principles of something but usually little to nothing to do with the actual implementation. This type book I usually read in a week or two and I like these books when their length is reasonable somewhere between 50 and 250 pages.
Reading a book with exercises
These are very common type of books in software development. These usually cover some theory and the exercises bring a pragramatic approach with what one can learn a basic implementation. Some of these books are good if they have good examples but a great number of these type of books are way too long to keep me interested all the way to the end.
Attending a online course
I'm currently attending one, actually my first one. This course contains several video lectures per week split in to 2 to 10 minute pieces, quizzes after lessons and homework that's validated instantly. To me this seems to be a great way to learn. Video lectures contains theory and implementation examples, quizzes are questions of the theory or implementation and homework is implementing and that gives a pragmatic approach to the topic. On the other side this type learning requires quite a lot of time per week.
Working through a tutorialTutorials are usually a good way to learn a basics of a framework or a language or howto use a tool. The hardest part is usually to find a good tutorial.
The internet is full of different resources to use. I follow several websites that collect news, tutorials and blog posts e.g. dzone and infoq. I also follow people and feeds on google+ and twitter and these are a great way for me to share interesting news and posts with others.
These were my thoughts about studying and developing myself. There are probably other ways of learning that I didn't cover here or haven't tried leave a comment if you have one in mind.