12 Replies - 967 Views - Last Post: 11 November 2011 - 10:16 AM

#1 Faitas  Icon User is offline

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How to learn concepts?

Posted 04 November 2011 - 12:58 PM

Hello, I am new guy on this forum. Firsly, I'd like to say, that I am speak English not very well.

I have one question about concepts. Each programmer know concepts about his area. For example: Software development programmer know what is it. What is this area concepts. He speaks very programmatically, for example: „You should use IDE for Java“ or „You should make BLOB data type for this database column“.

So, my question is: „How I can learn all concepts about my area?“ My area is Software development, so I should learn concepts about Software development.

Thank you for your help. Faitas.

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Replies To: How to learn concepts?

#2 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:43 PM

You learn by studying and doing. Mainly by doing a ton of research...
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#3 AMZDeCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 04 November 2011 - 01:46 PM

If you mean concepts of Software Development then you should read the following book,
Software Engineering A Practitioners Approach by Roger Pressman.

To learn to code good quality software you also should have command on the programming language of your choice.
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#4 Faitas  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 06 November 2011 - 01:58 AM

Thank you for your help. Yesterday I bought „Introduction to Java Programming, Comprehensive (8th Edition)“. I'm very happy for that. In this book is very good instruction and lessons. :rolleyes2:
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#5 AMZDeCoder  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 06 November 2011 - 07:29 AM

Good, read the book and try out the examples in the book, practice will make you perfect.
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#6 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 06 November 2011 - 03:35 PM

Reading is very important and useful, as is hands-on learning. In other words, to actually know how to use your knowledge about software development, you need to actually do it. Practice.

Since you're asking about the concepts of software development, you should find a book on the structure of software applications and how a team might collaborate for the best efficiency when developing them.
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 07 November 2011 - 08:41 AM

I find it useful to keep an "ignorance list". That's a list of things that I don't know about, but perhaps I ought to. I try to pull items off that list regularly, and learn something about them.
The scope of items on that list can range from "what does this acronym refer to?" to "number theory". If you are a person of decent curiosity, you will add more to this list over time than you remove from it, but if you find a good algorithm for minimizing the number of items on the list you'll probably learn some useful concepts.
I'm still working on that algorithm...
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#8 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 07 November 2011 - 06:14 PM

You want the most crossed off the list? Look up the acronyms and leave number theory for later. :P

The ignorance list actually sounds like a great idea. I think I have been doing something similar in my head but it's probably a good idea to write it down. And, of course, it doesn't just have to be on technical topics.

Thanks for the idea! :)
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 07 November 2011 - 06:41 PM

Quote

And, of course, it doesn't just have to be on technical topics.


Of course not. Anything worth knowing is a massively interconnected network of ideas, and learning a little bit will always lead to you to more questions. Music, philosophy,

Quote

You want the most crossed off the list? Look up the acronyms and leave number theory for later.


Nice try, but the acronyms lead you to concepts, many of which go on the list. :) The algorithm involves ease of resolution (looking up the referent of an acronym), killing stale items ("I'm tired of not knowing about X"), and the "neato" factor. The last is quite important: the idea that has the most neato points often wins...
The most important thing, though, is persistence: once you take an item off the list, you can't just drop it, you have to work it out. Otherwise, you never get anywhere. As with many things in life, it helps to be a stubborn f*cker.
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#10 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 08 November 2011 - 05:41 AM

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Nice try, but the acronyms lead you to concepts, many of which go on the list.


Ahh, good point. I really do like the idea of the list and I'm definitely starting one. Its first items are coming from the notes I made in some ethics training I've just been on.

If you don't mind me asking, how large has your list grown and for how long have you been keeping track of your ignorance?
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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:50 AM

I was afraid you might ask that. The list hasn't been a physical one for a while - it became difficult to maintain, so what I've been doing for the last few years is mentally flagging concepts and events, and running them down when time allows.

I think it's time, though, to go back to a pencil-and-paper list. I do keep a notebook with me, it'll serve the purpose. How large is the list? good question - one measure would be the stack of books on my shelves and floors waiting to be read. These include a lot of stuff on philosophy of mind and analytic philosophy - guys like Russell and A.J. Ayer. There's also a bunch of history. About five years ago, I decided that my ignorance of history was ridiculous, and started to fix it. I'm pretty good with European history back to 1750 or so, and ultimately I'd like to push back to the crusades before I call it a day on that.
I've also got a stack of math books I'm trying to understand, and there's a lot of novels and poetry which I want to read - this also qualifies as an area of ignorance for me.

The conscious logging of my ignorance probably started with my reading of history. I started by listing a bunch of people and events that I knew by name and had a vague idea about, and I used that list to guide my reading. Once I started reading, I decided that working backwards from the second world war was the most reasonable procedure. Everything since is still anecdotal, but when you go back seventy years, it's reasonable to start calling it history. Working backwards allows you to properly understand the context: history is mostly an attempt to explain subsequent events by reference to previous ones, so it's necessary to at least know what the subsequent events are if you're going to read any history. In order to keep track of what I'm doing, I keep two notebooks, each of which covers 400 years, at five years per page. I note events that seem worth noting on the appropriate page, which associates the events with roughly contemporaneous ones.
This also serves as a rich reservoir of ignorance, because most events can be understood more thoroughly, and the connections revealed by placing these events in connection with contemporaneous ones are certainly worth exploring.

cfoley, if you start your list now, I'll do the same. Let's get together in a few months - say, end of January - and compare notes.
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#12 cfoley  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 09 November 2011 - 05:00 PM

Heh, I thought your answer might be along those lines. Thanks for the detailed response! I'll certainly rise to your challenge. It's one where we can both only benefit.

Have you heard of Getting Things Done? It's a time management methodology that I find really effective. It revolves around maintaining an ever-expanding list of things to do; capturing any ideas for projects you have; and accepting that you'll never be able to do everything. I think the majority of my ignorance list will fit very well into my GTD setup. I've created a section for my ignorance list, though I expect it will grow so fast that it needs organisation beyond a flat list.

What have I got so far? A few miscellaneous things I've thought of in the last couple of days and my Jack of all languages blog. That's about it. However, I started a similar list a few years back. It was a list of experiences I wanted to have. Time to revive that too, I think.
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#13 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: How to learn concepts?

Posted 11 November 2011 - 10:16 AM

I've heard of the GTD notion - my brother was proselytizing it for a while. Sounds like there might be some sense in some of it, but I'm typically pretty skeptical about such panaceas.
There are copies of the book floating around the office, I might take a closer look.

The Riemann Hypothesis is the only really interesting thing I've added in the last few days. I think that might be a bit of a mouthful, though.

Maybe this would make a good persistent thread, over in the lounge... nah, it would turn into boob jokes in minutes.
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