Sam Soffes:

Learn by doing.

If you want to learn iOS, pick something to work on and start. “But I don’t know Objective-C.” Okay, Google “getting started with Objective-C” or buy a book. If you run into something you can’t figure out, Google it, search StackOverflow, or ask a friend. This technique applies to anything.

Learning a bunch of stuff before trying to do is useless.

So much truth and good advice, especially when it comes to being a creator. Unlike a doctor or lawyer, there’s no reason to ingest years of information before you start doing.

I’ve recently started working to pick up PHP1. While I needed to learn the fundamentals (loops, arrays, functions, etc.), it wasn’t until I sat down and started actually solving a problem in my life2 that I started getting going. Every time I ran into a bump, I’d do a Google search and find a solution.

We learn by doing, not by reading. This is why our existing college model fails for a large majority of careers today.

  1. Yes, PHP. I ended up with it because I have an existing mental model of how it works – it’s basically like extending HTML/CSS and making pages dynamic, but still gives me the ability to build a simple backend []
  2. I’ve been looking to simplify how I distribute the weekly content for The Syndicate to the writers. Until today I was using a rudimentary Find & Replace in TextMate with some HTML templates each week []