Apprenticeship Pattern: Record What You Learn

This week I also read the pattern “Record What You Learn”, and this is a pattern that I am not anywhere near doing correctly. I think that this problem is useful, and though not as significantly as the others, still one worth implementing. This pattern is essentially asking you to take notes and record all of the things that you’ve learned throughout your journey. Taking notes does help in learning, but its real power comes when you actually go back and review these notes. The author alludes to the previously mentioned by suggesting that we keep our notes in a medium that we are more likely to access and interact with. Often times notes are taken in a subject specific notebook or application, the problem with this can be actually going back to this material to review it since it may lack that personal touch. This problem can be alleviated by storing your notes in a personal wiki, journal, or blog, the key being that this medium is personal and that it is something we interact with often.

The author emphasized the idea that your notes should be a “nursery, not a graveyard”, meaning that these notes should be a source of progress and growth and not stagnation. Even if you go through your notes daily, if you are only trying to memorize what is in your notes rather than trying to gain new insights and making new connections with them your time could be better spent doing something else. The other great benefit of having these notes is the fact that they act as some sort of wiki for you. The author mentions this and I have seen the truth in that myself. There have been times when there was a problem/bug that I could not figure out and the solution required multiple different things to be done, when I originally learned to solve the problem it may have taken me hours to gather all of the resources and information, but after storing all of those steps in my notes, I do it in minutes. Taking notes can often be too mundane and boring to actually want to do but this pattern has really showed me that it’s worth powering through it. By recording what you learn you have a detailed history of your grown, your own personal archive, and source of future ideas and innovations and because of this I will definitely try to apply this pattern as well throughout my career.


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