The learning pattern “Record What You Learn” from the Apprenticeship Patterns book is mostly self-explanatory from the title. The main concern of someone who gains a lot of knowledge quickly, such as a new software developer, or, in my case, a software development student, is retaining that knowledge. The chapter describes some good ways to track this learning, like with a wiki or a blog (hey!). Having to relearn or continuously practice concepts or bits of skill is time consuming and wasteful, especially if you don’t have something to quickly reference. This is a solution to that problem.
Recording and retaining my learning has definitely been a problem in the past, although I’m trying to get better at it. At the start of my sophomore year, I realized I had forgotten a solid chunk of the programming skills that I had learned at the end of my freshman year. I had to work a lot over that summer, so I didn’t have a ton of time to practice these skills through personal projects or places like LeetCode. Getting back into the swing of things, especially as difficulty was ramping up, was a struggle. Luckily, I haven’t hit a patch like that since, but there have been plenty of times that I found smaller, but still useful concepts, escaping me.
Some things in this department might be like remembering some concepts, but forgetting the implementation, or even just one key part of implementation. This is exactly where a wiki/blog would be super useful. I find I usually follow my own train of thought best, as I assume is the same for everyone, so having something to reference in my own writing, in a way that I find is useful in understanding a topic, is best as well. Just in recent memory, I had some trouble trying to remember how to create a custom comparator for two objects. I had just done it last week, at which point I had to look it up. It was excusable the first time, but just a pain the second time. So, even after a week, I still face these troubles. I definitely need to get better as recording my learning, so this learning pattern is a great point of emphasis for me.