Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Deliberate Practice

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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning (Neill Alexander) (Hunt)
- Highlight Loc. 1067-69  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2011, 08:16 PM

Skills and abilities that you constantly use and constantly practice will begin to dominate, and more of your brain will become wired for those purposes. At the same time, lesser-used skills will lose ground. "Use it or lose it" is perfectly accurate in this case, because your brain will dedicate more resources to whatever you are doing the most.
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Pragmatic Thinking and Learning (Neill Alexander) (Hunt)
- Highlight Loc. 1070-73  | Added on Friday, April 08, 2011, 08:16 PM

Perhaps this is why musicians practice scales incessantly; it's sort of like refreshing dynamic RAM. Want to be a better coder? Practice coding more. Engage in deliberate, focused practice as described in the sidebar (here…). Want to learn a foreign language? Immerse yourself in it. Speak it all the time. Think in it. Your brain will soon catch on and adapt itself to better facilitate this new usage.
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Over the last couple of years the majority of my personal programming time has gone into 2 largish applications; Sponge and Meditation Helper. The main aim of the first project was to write something substantial in Clojure, and the second to do the same for Android. Both were fun projects to work on. However, I have now decided to change my approach.

Instead of embarking on another application, I am instead using my personal programming time to practice scales. I am writing toy classes to learn apis, libraries etc that I haven't had much experience with, or that I want to learn in more depth. I want to improve as a programmer, and the only way to do that is practice, practice, practice.

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