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08 August 2022

15:37

What does this even mean?

We always thought that learning was to be done separately from work. Learning is when you stop working and then either tune into a video, step into a classroom, or log into a Zoom call in the current age.

But guess what? Irrespective of what you thought that focused learning would do for you, it always comes up short when you are faced with an issue or problem to solve in the real world or in your work.

All the concepts you learned are like pieces of soft clay, ready to be brought together to build something tangible. That something tangible happens only when the thing you solve is closest to or is the problem you are facing at work.

While we may not be aware of it, we are continuously learning. Though we don’t call it “learning”, we typically say “solving” an issue or “debugging” an issue. What’s happening in this phase? We are talking to teammates; we are frantically looking at the documentation, or posting a question on Stack Overflow, looking for sample code, downloading a code snippet, maybe trying a different algorithm, and then hoping that it will fix the issue.

You are probably doing it all on your laptop, in your local workspace, and if you keep doing this long enough, it will end up being a bad case of twisted noodles. There are too many software versions and too many pieces of sample code, and I’m not sure what works where.

And by the way, this is the way that every software developer follows.

What if there was a better way of doing things?

What if you had a library of ready-to-use environments to test whether or not that sample piece of code worked?

Did you have to deploy this sample application on the cloud? And you have a “burner” account with a pre-defined set of credits?

And were you looking for a project like the one you are assigned to and wanted to get your feet warm? And if these projects are available as an app in Slack or Teams or even Zoom?

Maybe also track all the stuff that you are working on and solving so that your manager knows all the good work you are doing 🙂

We at Nuvepro are working towards enabling this and much more for software developers. We call this learning in the flow of work, and this is where most of our learning happens.

Don’t take our word for it. A study that was done quite some time ago by three researchers, Morgan McCall, Robert W. Eichinger, and Michael M. Lombardo at the Center for Creative Leadership, and explained in this link: Learning Philosophy | Human Resources (princeton.edu). They came up with the 70,20,10 rule to describe how learning truly happens and how to copy from the link above.

  • 70% of the time is spent on real-life and on-the-job experiences, tasks, and problem-solving. This is the most important aspect of any learning and development plan.
  • 20% from feedback and from observing and working with role models.
  • 10% derived from formal education
  Are you ready to enable your employees to spend 70% of their learning time? Or are you satisfied with the 10%?