Some people are born with natural intelligence or ability. Other people learn through their mistakes and become skilled through effort. Most people combine both. But which is more important: effort or talent?
When we’re left to our own pace to complete training, do we take advantage of the flexibility or fizzle out?
Employers and employees still value training. But the old gold standard—sequestering employees in classes for extended periods of time—is falling out of favor.
“We’re seeing a huge decrease in the amount of time people are spending in training rooms and classrooms,” says Janet Pogue, principal and global workplace leader at Gensler, a design firm that studies how people use office spaces (among other things). Instead, employers increasingly rely on modules that allow people to learn at their own pace, on their own schedules.
Code.org is putting the incredible popularity of Flappy Bird to good use. It just released a new initiative to help young people (or whoever, really) learn how to code by building their own customized version of the absurdly simple yet highly addicting game.
“Reading a book about management isn’t going to make you a good manager any more than a book about guitar will make you a good guitarist, but it can get you thinking about the most important concepts.”
“It takes 66 days until an action becomes something you do without thinking.”
- On average, an action becomes an “automatic” habit after 66 days of doing.
- The subconscious mind rebels against big changes, but you can woo it with gradual shifts.
- The more familiar a task is, the less scary it is.
“I take lots of notes in paper mole skin notebooks; every week or so I go back with a different color pen and circle the key sentences; I then transfer these ideas to Evernote files on my computer; and finally, I blog/tweet/publish/email out the crispest, most important ideas or quotes.”
“Here’s my secret: I practiced everywhere. At bus stops. In line at the grocery store. At work—Using the mouse with my right hand and practicing drills with my left hand. You don’t have to train hardcore for years to become a dancer. But you must be willing to practice and you better be hungry.”
"We learn more and retain more. Creative pathways are opened up as we engage more of our senses. Forming letters by strokes, as opposed to selecting each by keys, opens regions of the brain involving thinking, language, and memory that are not opened through typing. Writing, real writing, makes you smarter.”
Need to get focused? Try turning off your computer and doing some good old fashioned hand-writing.
[Image: Flickr user Lali Masriera]
Does your job suck? Here are some tips on how make the most of it and how to know when to get out.
Goranka Bjedov, a capacity software engineer at Facebook, cracked the audience up at a Girls in Tech/Facebook meetup in NYC. She spoke candidly about her career mistakes with lines like, "I’m really good at figuring things out 10 years after the fact."
A few of her best tips were:
"Plan your career. Make a plan and figure out how to get there. Know where you want to be in 3, 5, 10 years. And check in with it to make sure that you’re not stuck."
She emphasized that having programming skills provides women with job security and financial independence.
'Once you learn programming you can do literally anything you want anywhere you want.'
And in explaining why it is so valuable for a woman to learn coding she predicted that in the near future, “we’ll be teaching programming in elementary school because it will be a part of daily life.”
Bloomberg’s head of technology for Tradebook Equity Catherine Hui handed out tons of great career tips at a recent Girls in Tech/Facebook meetup. Here, some of the best:
"Acknowledge your mistakes and you’ll be fine."
"It’s not about making a mistake - it’s about how you handle it."
"The sky is going to fall at some point. The key is how you handle the post-mortem."
"Find someone who has your best interest in mind - that’s a true mentor."
Don’t be shy. People want to help you.
Meet with your mentors/members of your network regularly.
Choose your mentor wisely.
Have at least one or two awesome geeks in your network of mentors.
On who she hires:
What blogs do they follow? What is their favorite news source? Does this person have a natural curiosity for what’s happening?
Can this person learn fast?
People don’t necessarily need to have a tech background- but they should have communication skills, be a team player, and most importantly they should have common sense/strong problem solving skills.
And finally, these gems:
"We [women] need to learn how to ask for things … Men never wait to ask."
“I didn’t become who I am by accident. I struggled through the whole journey.”
Here’s a sneak preview of: Crucial Tips On Delegating The Right Way, So Everyone Wins
Don’t take away the motivation to learn
If you take away the pain of failing, you also take away the big, highly personal, motivator to get it right.
[Coach Whistle: Eurobanks via Shutterstock]
3 Ways To Teach Yourself To Become Smarter
New research reinforces the idea that intelligence is not fixed-therefore it can be strengthened.
TED, the conference dedicated to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” took a step forward in its educational mission today by launching a TEDEd video channel on YouTube. Shorter than the 18-minute TED talks that have racked up 500 million views, these videos feature a combination of talking heads from TED stages and animation (artwork by Fast Company Most Creative Person Sunni Brown, among others) tackling topics like neuroscience and evolution for a high-school-aged audience.