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General Discussion

Self-study most efficient way


Can you suggest an efficient way of self-study? How to organise my study, what tools to use, how to take notes with pen and paper etc?

4 Answers

I was about to ask the same question. Any advice will be welcome.

Thanks in advance!

Jonathan Söder
Jonathan Söder
7,428 Points

I've been dealing with self-studies for more than a decade now, in one form or another, and it's only recently (geez!) that I've come to realize which techniques and methods I learn the most out of:

  • Figure out something you want to create, if you can't, take something you think is cool, like a website or an app and try to image how a specific part works. As you progress through the course try to figure out how to do something with the tools you are given by the specific class and course as a whole. Can you build a portion of your own project with what you just learned? Can you replicate a specific thing that cool app/website does with what you just learned? Do you realize how something works and how it can be done? I find those lightbulb over your head, "aha"-moments very important.

  • I take notes using wordpress. I'm actually blogging. Even though I know no one will read my nerdy beginner posts it serves another purpose. If I take a class in HTML or whatever, I let the information sink in and then I'll try to explain, with my own words, to my invisible readers what HTML is AND adding my own thoughts to it, involving real world examples on how something potentially can be achieved. If I manage to explain something well, looking up stuff as I go along I'm not only learning additional things but also making sure I got what they were trying to teach.

  • Don't rush it. I can keep a fairly good pace but information overload is the worst thing that can happen to me. Instead of having to look up some reference material or getting a few typo's everything is a complete mess and I have to look up everything because I keep confusing things.

The worst way for me to learn something new is to take the learning material, read/watch it and just go to the next video/page.e and read/watch that.

Thank you, Jonathan! I'm going the blog thing is a good idea!

And more specifically, using the Tree House for example. I've just completed the "How to make a Website" after every lesson I tried to put in practice what I just learn by my own, but I still don't know how to make a basic Website from scratch, I not completely familiarized with the positioning of objects, and creating new layouts, nav bars etc.

Should I keep going with others CSS and HTML tutorials or take my time and master what I've learned so far?

I like the idea to blog what I learn! Thank you Jonathan!

Jonathan Söder
Jonathan Söder
7,428 Points


I remember when I first tried to learn HTML/CSS, it was not on treehouse, but just a mixture of books and lynda videos. Afterwards I just thought to myself, what in the world did I just read? There was so much information. My best advice, really, is to break it down into the smallest steps you can and tackle each step as you go. Can you include the doctype? Where goes the <body/head/html> tags? How does containers work? (my first "aha!"-moment which led me to start playing around with layouts, lots of one colored divs, I felt so happy because suddenly I knew a technique on how to mimic any websites layout) How can I move these containers around? How do I make a horizontal menu? How do I make a vertical menu? etc.

The first thing I took to heart when I started get serious about learning web development and programming is, no matter the language or profiency of it, you will always, at one point or another, need to go back and read the reference material. You will never learn the whole language 100%, you will forget things and you will be back to read up on how a certain thing worked again. Never be afraid to search for what you need to know. I'm searching everyday, both for new things and things I've forgotten, though I still consider myself a newbie. You have to break something down into tiny pieces and ask the right questions especially when you're studying alone with google as your only friend.

you say you're not completely familiarized with the different processes in creating and positioning. This means you did learn something, when I'm uncertain of new knowledge, what I usually do is one of two things, create a new file and try to replicate what I learned (and remember) and fill in the blanks or check another source dealing with the same stuff. But to me it sounds like you should just open up a new text file and play around. Maybe create something simple in photoshop or https://wireframe.cc/ (found out about that one today! thanks treehouse forum!) and try to replicate it with actual html and css. The first thing I did when I was in your position was always giving the newly created div a form with "border" or "background-color". Then I justed moved these blocks around, trying to put them together to make it look like a website.

But I also think that if you want to you can move along to another css and html class. You're bound to revisit the things they taught in the first course.

reading everything over again I...I hope I make sense :=)