Learning In Public
Learning in public is not necessarily a new concept. I’ve seen quite a few folks I follow on Twitter pick this habit up and I think it’s a wonderful way to reduce isolation in my own thinking. Isolation is bad for ideas and though processes. It’s hard to come up with good stuff when it’s only you who can try and dissect said “stuff.”
I’ve found this to be especially important when it comes to my engineering work. In my Top Of Mind note, I’ve mentioned how I spend some time reverse engineering the Halo API for fun. The thing is - when you reverse engineer anything, you will at some point reach a blocker and nothing, not even hours spent looking at the code, would help figure out a solution. That is because I get so engulfed at the problem, that I start looking at it only from my own point of view, reflecting my own experiences and expectations on it. The solution to that, I found, is talking about the work in the open.
Once ideas start circling around like-minded individuals, they can get refined and improved. I personally started seeing the entire reverse engineering process differently by trying to replicate others’ thought processes and getting their input. I treat this as photosynthesis for ideas - I can absorb the feedback and information and transform that into other ideas, completely different from the approaches I’ve taken before.
Learning in public is a bit intimidating - one is exposing their vulnerability by admitting that they, in fact, don’t know something. It’s a hard thing to admit, but that’s also a harmful thing to hide and assume that it can be addressed by spending more time thinking about it while being fenced off from the rest of the larger community.
This collection of raw notes is an effort in that direction for me. I am curious how this experiment will pan out.