When I was young, I wanted to be a teacher.
I’ve often found it difficult to learn new things. There’s always that hump you need to get past: when you go from reading and digesting, to starting to understand the core principles behind whatever it is you’re learning, and becoming more fluent. It could be a musical instrument, a foreign language, or a new thing in tech. I often struggle with getting past the hump.
The reason I wanted to be a teacher was to help other people to learn. Perhaps there were other people like me who found it hard to learn. Perhaps I could give other people guidance in where to start, and give clear explanations to help them learn.
In a tech role, I can still channel teaching (or training) in a number of ways, particularly through tech support. Doing tech support is an excellent way to connect with people outside your immediate team, help solve problems for those people, and learn a bit yourself. If the same issues are raised repeatedly, writing a guide could help. If the same names are coming up again and again, perhaps those people would benefit from some one-on-one help, or a repeatable training course.
A big part of this is communicating in plain English. If you’re using jargon right out of the gate, whether it’s in a Slack post, a written tutorial, or a group training session, there’s a risk you’ll lose a few people along the way. Different methods of communication warrant different approaches. I often write with myself in mind: not as a person who works in tech, but as that person who finds it difficult to learn new things.
If you’ve ever felt learning new things is daunting, well, you’re not alone. Not knowing where to start can make learning seem like a mountain to climb. My advice is to take it one step at a time. As they say – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Meanwhile, if there’s anything you’re confused about in tech, add a reply – perhaps it would make a good future post.