Have you gotten really excited about a new technology, but when you dug into the nuts and bolts lost interest?
Honestly, I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me and this phenomenon isn’t limited to new software development techniques. The psychologist in me has to ask:
Why is it that stop ourselves from mastering these really cool and lucrative skills?
This is even more frustrating to software developers who’ve learned to program before and *just know* that the new tech is very very similar to what they’ve done before (just different syntax and scope).
Anyway, I’m assuming that we are talking about a new platform (like iOS) that is very interesting and truly compelling and that you have a very good practical reason to learn. Then, the only explanation that I can muster as to why you are not getting up to speed on something like iOS is that you are experiencing these 3 overwhelming roadblocks:
All of these things are really just in your head and have very little to do with the reality of learning the new technology. What you really need is a little bit of help to deal with each of these. Here’s some ideas on how to do that.
If you’re like me, your first instinct when getting up to speed is to look to the blogosphere to see what your peers are doing. Sometimes you will get to your first Hello World app and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a taste of what’s available to you. However, the reality with blogs is this: you either get very specific answers to very specific questions or you get long exposes on novel edge cases. That’s great and all, but when you have no context all this just leads to lots of confusion and disconnected facts.
The problem with this confusion is that it leads to inaction,
because there are so many little bits of disconnected information coming at you that you just don’t know where to start. Of course, if you don’t start with the platform you are not going to be able to move on to master the platform. Honestly, I believe that this initial confusion enough to stop most new developers right in there tracks especially when learning this tech is competing with all the other life demands we have (family, jobs, kids, social life).
To Overcome: use the experience of someone else who’s been through the process and can help you focus of what is important right now. Accept that you won’t learn the entire platform overnight. If you just focus on the subset of information that you need to actually build something using the accepted best practices then you’ll be well on your way. This is the key to get past the roadblock that holds the other 90% back.
Let’s assume that you have access to exactly the right type of content which simply lists out all the facts that you need to be a successful developer. Maybe an experienced developer handed you his or her playbook. This, by itself, probably still isn’t enough for you to succeed. [Read more…]