I read recently that one of the most important skills for software developers is the ability to teach yourself. That’s easier said than done, because in order to teach yourself, you first have to learn how to learn. I don’t believe this ability is important just for developers: The ability to teach yourself difficult things is a key skill for anyone who wants to stand out.
The world is now so full of information (I watched a videorecently which stated that a week’s worth of The New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a *lifetime *in the 18th Century), that you need to be able to pick up new concepts rapidly, and carefully target your focus. The key is to be putting what you learn into practice, and creating tight feedback loops.
Most of the following skills I have immediately put into practice for a variety of eclectic reasons, andevery timeI’vebeen astounded at the incredible resources at my fingertips…all for the price of an internet connection.
- How to customize a virtual server
- How to iron
- How to unblock a toilet
- How to gut a sea bass (graphic!)
- How to fold a dumpling
- How to use Dreamweaver
- Various Mandarin speaking tips
- How to grapple a bigger opponent
- How to fold a shirt in 2 seconds
- The fractional reserve banking system
So next time you feel like you can’t understand something, or can’t do something, enjoy the highlikelihood that a video explanation is just a few clicks away.