How to keep on learning when you haven’t got time

kennedy in room surrounded by people

So its a Monday night, instead of being slumped on the couch, Gogglebox style, I am sitting at my dining room table learning towards my nano-degree in Data Science. And loving every minute of it.

Kennedy Watching tv
Even Kennedy had to find time to learn and keep ahead

What could posses me to want to spend my evenings learning. Well its pretty simple.

The one lesson that I have learned since I started in digital, is that it pays to be continually hungry to learn and try new things. At work we remind our customers that they need to be fast and respond to market changes to succeed. It is much the same with us. We need to be at the forefront of the technology skill sets to be able to help lead the way.

Up until earlier on this year my main source of learning has always been one of 3 things:

1. On the job training. – which is brilliant as it builds up “muscle memory” for how to complete tasks. This can be slow, stressful and frustrating particularly if there is a client deadline coming up.
2. Prepared Training Courses – I have had a mixed experience of these. On one hand it’s great to learn a lot from someone experienced but the real kicker for me is that after those 3 days of training, you are on your own to embed the training and make sure you don’t roll back to previous habits.
3. Online training courses/ books– I lumped these together as they have some of the common downfalls for me. On one hand its amazing to have a consistent reference point to go back and check when I need to at work. The downfall is that books and courses take up a lot of time before you know if they are any good or not.

Why a Nanodegree works for me

Data Analyst overviewBeing a Geek Dad, with kids running around, means that I don’t really have the time to spend ages learning down the wrong path, so I really need to focus on what will give me the best return for my time investment.

I am someone who learns by doing. The bit I really like about the Nanodegree, is that I learn by first watching, then repeating and finally by doing my main practical exercise where I get to have an expert look at it and give me feedback.

Udacity Nanodegree really struck a chord with me as the best way to have a holistic approach to a subject and really start learning in the right way. I have quality content, a path to follow and a subject that I could really practice to improve my skills at.

So here we go! Data Analyst Nanodegree, off we go!