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Arnold Ho
Arnold Ho

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Productivity porn vs Just code

I am spending 90% of my time learning how to be a good coder and 10% of my time learning how to code

Gif Homer Simpson saying he improved his productivity by 3 times because he only needs to type y instead of y.e.s

It feels nice reading productive hacks, how to be a good programmer, roadmap from self-taught programming to FAANG etc etc.

These kind of content empowers people's imagination! It make us feel like we are also a special bean in the universe destined to do stuff that empowers millions! We are on to building the next Google!


"The anticipation of a good event happening sparks more joy in the brain than the good event actually happening" (source: Albert Einstein??? Abraham Lincoln??? Whatever...)


This is a problem for me, because instead of reading up about productivity hacks, how to learn well and fantasising about my seven figure FAANG job that I am going to get straight out of bootcamp, I can spend that time to you know... learn to code...

Gif of Homer being bored

Well I get it... learning how to code is not as fun as fantasising about your coding career. But if you have to choose between the two, learning how to code well will definitely bring you better chance of getting you to where you wanna be.

Don't get me wrong, productivity porn type content are still helpful! Learning what to do as a Junior Developer is definitely going to help propel your career. But you (I) should probably spend 90% time on learning the actual thing and 10% time on these meta-learning. Productivity hack complements your core skills, not the other way round.

Note to self: Just code lol! Happy coding :)

Discussion (5)

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abhishah901 profile image
abhishah901

I find myself in the same position, more often than not. How do you propel yourself towards more coding? Like do you create some projects or do you code more in some online coding websites? I think I am looking for a direction, you could say...

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_arnoldho profile image
Arnold Ho Author

I am starting a coding bootcamp so I do have some prep material to finish. I am just trying to focus on those now instead of meta-learning. I think meta-learning (learning how to learn) is still beneficial but it should be a smaller part of my day.

If you lack direction, I think you can try just sticking to a curriculum, maybe freecodecamp or like you said create some simple projects that you'll ship.

Happy coding!

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rayyan808 profile image
rayyan808

I made an account just to reply to this post :) I feel people don't give as importance to meta-learning as it deserves, and it will be beneficial to anything you learn in the future and optimize your efficiency at doing so. Everyday I reap the benefits of the many hours I put into learning how to learn, I can simply look at a new language, architecture or framework, dive straight into the documentation and begin building exactly what I want. It is true that learning how to learn is neglected alot because it is quite uninteresting at first (in my case, I wasn't aware of what I was learning to learn until I reached the second year of my Bachelor Degree). But my way of developing involves spanning over multiple different stacks and concepts such as IoT, DevOps, Cloud, Blockchain, & Web Dev for example, so my meta-learning skills are a crucial aspect for me now. In short, The stronger you cover your foundations of Computer Science and understanding of how syntax is structured, what different types of programming there are, how thread management and operating systems work etc. All of this will ultimately make you confident enough to jump right into whatever it is you want todo.

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_arnoldho profile image
Arnold Ho Author

Thanks for your reply!

I do find meta-learning useful in a lot of ways. As the adage goes weeks of working can save you hours of planning, same goes with meta-learning.
However I do feel like in a lot of cases meta-learning feels more effortless compared to actual learning, and especially the kind of meta-learning by scrolling through articles online rather than diving into codes, watching Thomas Frank/Ali Abdaal videos on 'how to be more productive' on YouTube. This naturally drives up our ratio of meta-learning vs learning.

At the end of the day, I feel like meta-learning (learning about career strategies, productivity hacks etc.) is crucial for your development, but maybe it should cover 10% of your total learning time rather than 90%. (In my experience, I can be sucked into learning how to learn and productivity hacks for hours without actually doing the learning, which is kind of counterproductive)

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agitri profile image
agitri

Do de tomado technique for starters, also trick yourself, for ex: im only going to work on this for 5 minutes.

and youll end up doing straightup way more, because -> code -> bug -> code -> bug -> code -> bug -> code -> bug -> code -> bug -> code -> bug -> code -> bug -> code -> bug -> code -> bug ...

you get the point