Philosophy Friday: Learn Faster This Way
What is this faster way of learning?
It is to teach others.
“While we teach, we learn.”
– Seneca, Roman Statesman and Philosopher.
Since I started coaching Software Engineering, I have learned the subject in much more depth. I thought I understood the material. I was wrong. Every time I researched a topic for an upcoming article, I realised that there was more to learn; lessons I had forgotten or never knew. Subtleties that had eluded me suddenly became clear.
Similarly, in coaching software developers one-on-one, both parties learn. The student learns the material and the instructor learns how to explain the material to the student better. The job of the teacher is to find the best way of reaching the student. Effective coaches will try different teaching styles with their students and settle on the most effective one.
If the material is not taking root with the coached developer, they will simplify it further, communicate more succinctly. All of this activity has a profound effect on the teacher – they gain new depths in their understanding. The initial jumble of standalone concepts, principles and ideas will, with time, arrange themselves into a coherent whole, composed of related parts.
So, if you want to get better at developing software, or anything else, teach it to others. Write articles, assist and mentor your colleagues, publish YouTube videos, create an online course.
I don’t know of a faster way of learning.