Malik Piara

Programming every day won't make you a better programmer

Even though I'm the first to advocate the idea of showing up every day, I don't believe doing so is a sufficient condition for achieving mastery. Programming every day won't make you a hacker. Playing chess every day won't make you a grandmaster.

When we start learning a new skill, every day can be a challenge. But after a while, we start getting comfortable. We start enjoying it. We get good enough to be able to play the game without having to put deliberate effort. And the better we get, the less we gain out of just showing up.

The trick to getting better at any skill is to actively seek pain. To break a skill down into microskills and to target, measure and push one of them at a time. Like we do when we work out at the gym.

To reflect

If you had to break down a skill you're trying to learn into 5 smaller skills, what would they be? How would your learning approach change? How would you go about measuring your progress in each one of them?



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