Archive for the ‘learn’ tag
My learning progress this year has been increasing so fast, many things change in my life for the last 3 months. I changed to new living environment, new learning environment and start up my business when I came here. There are lots of lessons that I learnt as a manager in my new startup and a student in CMU. I think the 2 biggest lessons I have learnt so far this year are: planning and time-management.
Plan and Vision
Let me tell about my story first. My plan has been changing every month since the last November. The event that I went to CMU has changed my plan for my master degree and my career. You can read over my past plan here. I had a plan to work hard and plan for the master degree 2 years later. Then that plan changed. Next, I plan to study hard in CMU. Then, chances came and plan changed.
The main point that I want to get is my visionary. My vision and objectives over all of the plans do not change. I want to become an entrepreneur and build something that can change the world, something innovative in terms of technology and business. Planning is a tool for me to set up my vision, to see what will happen for me and other trends and I am more than willing to change any plan when necessary.
I have learnt significant lessons over financial planning in my CMU, which will help me over my company growth a lot. I think that this is what I lack from my undergraduate career. Money. Financial. These are important for any business technology people. I believe if you want to be successful, you have to understand about 3: Money, People and Technology.
The last few months, I ran in a crazy way, not like ever before. Look, everybody, who knows me, will know how fast I learn, implement new ideas and improve myself. However, I never see I learn and work at that crazy speed before. Lots of things got done, lots of breaking news. And I am still looking for more.
There are a couple of issues and lessons I learn from that fast moving. Time-management. I got a few problems at the first time when I have too many things to do than the time I can have. Then, I try different approach to optimize my time, calendar, todo list and time saving strategy. I now work much more efficiently than months ago and can really focus on a thing that I do. That’s why I love moving fast. Only by moving fast, you can learn really fast.
Again, what I want to say is you have to focus, and have a good timing management skills to control your time. Time cannot be bought!
I am extremely happy these days, I got a full scholarship of CMU – the first one I got after, uhm…, 10 or more scholarship submissions. This one goes by some luck. You may not believe in that, I don’t either till it happens. I started applying and the decision is out for less than 2 weeks and I had no plan for this scholarship until the chance came and I took it seriously. Here are 3 things I learnt from this happy event.
1/ Keep trying, you do not know what happens next.
Some people love perfection and are scared of failures to try. In many cases, trying does not cost you much except, some money and efforts and in some cases, it is free to try. One important decision I made is to talk and then email CMU representatives to ask some information about my specific case with important background. That let me know some important information about the admission process and I took advantage of it successfully.
For things that are uncertain, the only way you can be sure about is to try it. Start up, scholarships and R&D job is like this. Sometimes, things go out of your hand and strategy, then you just keep moving fast to the next goal.
2/ Everything you do, either succeed or fail make you one step further
I am happy that I tried to apply for President Award of RMIT Vietnam although I didn’t get it. It was a huge step preparation for me for the scholarship. There is no way that I can prepare all documents like transcripts, recommendation letter in around 3 days without any earlier work.
Another thing that I learnt from the fail of President Award is that my approach is kind of not correct. I tried a with a crazy approach in the award essay just to see what happens. And, I think the result gives me some feedback over the approach for the next one.
3/ Fail and run again
I mean RUN, actually run not just to go ahead step by step. I am willing to fail while I am running rather than moving slowly to the goal without any failure. For some people, failure is not an option, you are not allowed to fail. However, in my opinion, passionate is necessary but not enough for people to be successful; sometimes what matters is to keep the highest motivation for long time. Only challenges keep me motivated and moving with my best skills and efforts. That’s why I love the Google quote: “Achieving 65% of the impossible is better than 100% of the ordinary” (Don Dodge’s blog) . Here is what you get from that kind of fail, you know that you did a great thing, you are motivated about what you do all the time and you know you are doing something only a few, the best people can do.
And I always remember the Edison quote, you don’t fail 1000 times, you just found 1000 ways that things do not work, and I am happy to get a confirmation if a way is a fail as soon as possible.
Just some information about CMU and my courses there:
- Top 6 in 2008 in Engineering and IT QS World University Rankings
- Top 12 in 2010 in Engineering and IT QS World University Rankings
- #1 in Computer Science Schools (US News and World Reports)
I hope that this is a great step to the next big goal:)
Generally, I think in every area, not just IT, people face 2 questions on their studying lives. What to learn and how to learn it as fast and as deep as possible.
What to learn
In fact, the problem with “What to learn” is in some case really hard to answer, in some other cases it is really easy when somebody like your teachers, your bosses tell you that you need to learn this specific topic to serve for the assignments or for working this project. However, when you decide yourself, it is a big challenge requires a lot of experience and high vision on What will be the next technology/idea coming and if it worths spending time learning that new ideas in a big forest of technology. Our time is valuable, there are many interesting outside, you can not learn all of them. I will not focus yet on this problem but I want to Open Discussion for everybody to share their experience and vision to answer the big question “What Will be The Next”
How to learn
Now, I focus on the easier question, how to learn fast and deep enough.
Here is an interesting post that you can read it yourself. BuuNguyen’s blog, learn new things from books. Overall, it says something about why you have to learn new things from books. If you have any arguments with that post. You should reply on that blog, that guy is willing to answer you. I want to extend it and share some thing more here.
That post only focus on convincing the advantage of books. I want to suggest that you should learn from many books on the same topic. It is not a new suggestion also, I read it on blog KHMT (I forgot the link of the post, search it later). Why do you have to do so?No matter how good the book is, it is coming from an individual or a small group of actors, that is restricted, and not enough. Every books has a different way of addressing the problem, and that particular addressing model, in most cases, is not always excellent for every chapters/problems. My experience is picking some good books, looking through table of contents, looking through explaining model (graph, text, code, examples, mathematics, science, technology solution, tutorial…). Usually, the explaining model is consistent through a whole book (or many chapters of that book). Moreover, different books can suggest other ideas, concepts that a book lacks which will be seen when looking at the preface or table of content.
There are many other ways of learning suggested by Thanh Cong (slides) on barcampsaigon. In brief, he suggested team working, tutorials, pair programming. One more thing suggested by me on barcampsaigon also is Teaching (thanks to huyzing and eric hosick). IMO, you will not be an expert in a specific topic until you can teach other guys to be as good as you. You will need to understand the problem deeply before you can tell it by your language by your ways. Moreover, different people learn by different approaches, you have to teach them based on their approach, their way of thinking. Another value is that you will immediately know what you lack in that topics when standing before a huge number of different kinds of questions.