Simply put, we think of learning as a lifelong process: you stop when you die and not before. This is obviously true in a professional setting - where staying up-to-date with your industry's trends is crucial - but also in a personal one, where the same mindset can be applied to trying to become a better person. A bit of learning every day gradually builds up to a mountain of acquired skills and knowledge. These skills can open new opportunities, help you stay ahead of the curve, or give you a profound sense of satisfaction and progress. But most of all, they give you context. You'll start to discern the inner-workings and underlying dynamics, you'll build your own unique perspective and evaluate developments (the good and the bad) according to your own values. Not those spouted by some arbitrary influencer.
Lifelong learning is especially relevant in the IT industry, where advances can change the world within a couple of years (if even that). As technology continues to advance, it applies pressure on other industries to further evolve and there is always something new to experiment with. The amount and quality of options actually creates the opposite problem: a need for focus. Are you going to try a family reunion in the Metaverse, or write a wedding speech with Chat-GPT
, or setup a blockchain for your local library
, or try to sell some NFT art
, or build a Raspberry-Pi powered smart-clock
, or 3D print an enclosure for a Lora-Node
to track your pet, or shoot a small special effects movie
with some friends using Blender
? There's enough interesting stuff for 100 lifetimes of learning.
Not everyone has the same approach to learning. Some require a plan and a clear time allocation. Others combine the skill they want to learn with a use-case relevant to them. Others build small groups and work together, keeping each other motivated. Whatever works for you is fine, but it must enable you to keep the momentum and drive once the novelty wears off (it always does) and the first problems arise.
Finding learning materials has never been easier: podcasts, tutorials, online courses, and webinars are all available on the internet, and why not attend a networking event or try to engage with experts around you, or a mentorship program within your company. These resources are often free, varied and flexible. Here are some suggestions that we use at Sense6:
We'll close this post by echoing a relevant quote from Steve Jobs: stay hungry, stay foolish.