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  1. #1
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    Learning Multiple Things at Once or Sequentially

    When you are interested in learning several new technologies, do you try to learn them all at once, or become proficient in one before starting the next?

    For example, past week, I completed several beginners' tutorials in each of Flash & Actionscript, Ruby on Rails, PHP and MySQL, and the French Language. It was interesting, but I question my ability to internalize everything and not jumble everything up.

  2. #2
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    Learn things as you need, and as you can handle. Why be an expert on PHP if you have no clue about SQL, they go hand and hand. I've always picked away at everything little by little, learning what I need to do the job.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist snecz's Avatar
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    I guess that organisation of the work, patience and diligence are very important here. If you will remember about it you can learn different things simultaneously.
    On the other hand I think that specialisation is better option. I would prefer to be the best in one category that good in few ones.
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    SitePoint Addict reboltutorial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anduril66 View Post
    When you are interested in learning several new technologies, do you try to learn them all at once, or become proficient in one before starting the next?

    For example, past week, I completed several beginners' tutorials in each of Flash & Actionscript, Ruby on Rails, PHP and MySQL, and the French Language. It was interesting, but I question my ability to internalize everything and not jumble everything up.
    I like to learn new languages, and it's easy because there are many commonalities. And I use Rebol to help me switch easily from one language to another thanks to Domain Specific Language see
    Create your own Domain Specific Language (DSL) for learning PHP, Java, C#,… faster

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict ruby-lang's Avatar
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    You will inevitably learn several different technologies while you learn how to write a web application. At the very least, you will be exposed to HTML, CSS, SQL, and one server-side language. Add a framework, JavaScript, and a JS library, and you already have enough for years. Not only this is a huge amount of information, but a lot of it quickly gets obsolete.

    The truth is, even if you focus, you will spend the rest of your professional life playing catch. So, by all means, fool around and play for a few hours with anything that catches your fancy, but remember that your time is limited and true mastery requires thousands of hours.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by anduril66 View Post
    For example, past week, I completed several beginners' tutorials in each of Flash & Actionscript, Ruby on Rails, PHP and MySQL, and the French Language. It was interesting, but I question my ability to internalize everything and not jumble everything up.
    Then be very careful you don't end up using MoiSQelle

    The syntax is a bit non-standard

  7. #7
    billycundiff{float:left;} silver trophybronze trophy RyanReese's Avatar
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    It's best to know one language inside out rather then be knowledgable in all areas because noone needs overlapping skills in teams, but an experienced person tends to know much more then the hobbyist.

    For those who disagree, tihs is Paul O'B's view.
    Always looking for web design/development work.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruby-lang View Post
    The truth is, even if you focus, you will spend the rest of your professional life playing catch. So, by all means, fool around and play for a few hours with anything that catches your fancy, but remember that your time is limited and true mastery requires thousands of hours.
    I totally agree with Ruby: being a professional in this industry requires you to be fast on your feet. My best advice is learn how to learn.

    The nice thing about choosing a server side script/database combo to learn is that once you get one down, such as php/MySQL, it becomes much easier to learn other scripting languages and even other programming languages because they have so many basic similarities in how they work.

    When it comes down to it, play with everything. You'll find something that you like to work with, and that you can work well with. That's how you end up specializing in a specific language/technology. Or at least, that's how you end up working with a job that you love.

    @Dr. John: I don't know if your claim that MySQL's syntax is non-standard is true, but it is a very popular platform, and therefore a very good addition to anyone's skillset. In fact, 95% of my clients use it. If you want to tell people not to learn it, make sure that you're also telling them that it will also seriously limit their ability to take on contracts or get jobs. It's a real requirement on a developer's resume.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    MoiSQelle, not MySQL...

    Read the quote...


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