Graphs, pyramids and trees
Think of knowledge as a graph, with each node representing a piece of information in your brain. As you add more nodes, you become richer in knowledge. To visualize this, think of a pyramid or a tree, where you build your ideas from fundamental concepts and build upon them. A learning framework is a method of building this pyramid.
There are two main learning frameworks: bottom-up and top-down. In the bottom-up approach, you start with fundamentals and work your way up to practical applications. In the top-down approach, you start with a real-world application and work your way down to the fundamentals.
Suppose you want to build a chat application. In this case, you may start with an existing chat application and work your way down to the underlying theory. You may start by examining how the chat application communicates with the server and then delve into the networking protocols and data structures that make it possible.
What should I do?
Both methods of learning, bottom-up and top-down, are valid and it's actually beneficial to use both approaches when learning a topic. It's important to trust your instincts and choose the method that feels most engaging to you. If you feel like building a small app, go ahead and do it, even if you lose interest in the topic later. Remember, the goal is not the final result, but rather to learn.
Have you ever wondered why you stop working on side projects? It's not always because you lose interest in the topic. More often, it's because you have satisfied your curiosity and have learned what you set out to learn.
If you think of knowledge as a graph, you can traverse it using two methods: Breadth-First Search (BFS) and Depth-First Search (DFS). Start with BFS to gain a broad understanding of the topic, then switch to DFS as you discover interesting subtopics that you want to master. The important thing is to explore and then master, following the A, B, C approach.
Let's say you want to learn a new programming language, such as Python. You start by using BFS to get a broad understanding of the language's syntax, basic data types, control structures, functions, modules, and packages. Then, you switch to DFS to delve deeper into specific subtopics, such as object-oriented programming, file I/O, regular expressions, web scraping, data analysis, and machine learning.
Trust the process
Remember, learning takes tame, so be patient. If you're a beginner, it's important to have quick and easy access to visual and interactive materials to stay interested. At this level, even following tutorials can be challenging.
To improve your learning, I suggest doing multiple tutorials on the same topic by different authors. This will help you compare and combine their approaches. You should also look at both modern and old materials to get a well-rounded understanding of the topic.
The topic of knowledge temporality is a significant area of research. It's essential to understand that knowledge can be either temporal or timeless.
Temporary knowledge refers to knowledge that is specific to a particular context or implementation, such as a programming language, framework, or library. These implementations can evolve and change over time, making it necessary to stay up-to-date with the latest developments to continue using them effectively. While temporary knowledge can be useful in the short term, it may become obsolete or outdated as technology advances, making it less valuable over time.
Timeless knowledge, on the other hand, refers to fundamental concepts that are applicable across a range of contexts and implementations. These concepts are not tied to specific technologies and are less likely to become obsolete over time. For example, knowledge of variables, arrays, functions, loops, and conditions in programming languages are timeless concepts that can be applied in a wide range of programming contexts.
Developing a strong understanding of timeless concepts provides a solid foundation that can be built upon over time. Timeless knowledge helps you understand the underlying principles of a technology, making it easier to adapt to changes and learn new implementations quickly. It also helps you evaluate new technologies and determine which ones are worth investing your time and resources in.
On the other hand, developing temporary knowledge helps you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry. It helps you remain relevant and competitive in the job market. It also helps you become more versatile in your skill set, as you'll be able to work with different tools and technologies.