· learning

Restricting your own learning

For the first few years that I worked professionally* every project that I worked on was different enough to the previous ones that I was always learning something new without having to put much effort in.

After a while this became less the case because I'd seen more things and if I saw something even remotely similar I would abstract it away as something that I'd done before.

A couple of months ago Martin Fowler wrote a blog post about priming and how research has showed that exposure to a stimulus influences a response to a later stimulus.

In this case he was referring to the benefits of starting a retrospective with the prime directive because it will help put us in a more open and understanding frame of mind which will be beneficial in this context.

I feel there might be some link between this and my learning conundrum in as well as I've primed myself to believe that there's nothing interesting to learn in a situation because it's similar to something I've previously worked on.

Confirmation bias also comes into play because I'm now only looking for things that I already know to prove my point.

I started working on the uSwitch energy team a few weeks ago and initially I was only looking for the things that I already knew how to do.

After a week of doing this I decided to instead look for things to learn and realised there was more than I expected. These are just some of the things I'm currently learning more about:

I'm sure that there are more (or certainly will be) that I can't think of at the moment but it's much easier to find new and interesting things to learn now that I'm looking for them rather than expecting to magically appear.


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