As a human being, learning is a must. Since it’s related to my job and it’s a lot easier to provide requirements when you know what they are looking for, I decided to self-study coding. I’ve been casually studying for two years now. As for the choice of coding language, I started with Scratch, CSS, HTML, and most recently, Python. The reasons behind my choices were first, Scratch had a GUI and for a beginner, understanding the logic and structure was very helpful and more meaningful as opposed to memorizing commands. Second, since I can see CSS stylesheets being used in WordPress and I had a high-school level knowledge of HTML and Python, I thought it would be a lot easier to just recall how to use them. Aside from that, Python is a programming language that has withstood the test of time. It’s been decades ago since I last studied it seriously yet until now, it’s still relevant.
How do I study?
Studying requires three things for me: purpose, focus, and consistency. This formula makes studying meaningful and efficient.
Purpose: Defining the scope of my learning is one key advantage of self-studying.Since at work I support multiple project teams including data analytics, it helps to know their language or what their problems are about. I may not be the smartest person in the room but it pays not to get lost in meetings when members start discussing attributes, values, and logic. Call me a generalist but at the moment, I don’t need to be an expert at Python immediately but I should at least get the foundations right and work my way up.
Focus: Once there is a purpose behind what I’m studying about, it is easy to focus on it. A paid course may be advantageous but not necessary. A free application that I can access all the time without any time limit can help me set my mind on my goal without being distracted by other courses or options that sound fancy.
Consistency. In order to achieve consistency, I must be able to practice doing something and not get tired of it. The latter is the more important factor. For context, after getting an N5 certification, my consistency in studying Nihonggo dwindled to the occasional Kanji recognition and until now, despite recognizing sentence structures and expressions in anime and manga, I still can’t speak the language. Programming is a skill that requires constant practice. Learning and practicing it for 10 minutes a day can help build a habit that will eventually lead me to recall scripts in an instant.
I’ve been using it for some months now but not as consistently as I want to. In February, I decided to use the app for 30 days straight to figure out how best to incorporate it into my schedule.
What do I like about Mimo?
Though Python has a rich repository of resources (consonance, everyone!), for a beginner, they may be overwhelming. Since using the app, I have learned a number of concepts in Python that I can easily recall aside from
The lessons are arranged systematically. It also helps that for each lesson, I get to immediately ‘apply’ in some code blocks what I learn. There’s a short quiz in each section that helps me recall concepts and because of its gamified system, the quizzes are fun, entertaining, yet still challenging.
I’m also responsible for my own learning. Using the app, I can set my own goals according to the “experience points” I receive in a day. These days I have to juggle my personal goals with my professional tasks so getting 400 px per day is enough. It takes me approximately 10 minutes to reach this. Because it only occupies a short period of my day, I do not have any excuse to ‘avoid studying.’ There are days when skipping is inevitable- some days may be extra busy or I just get too lazy- but forming a habit of studying makes skipping a bit unreasonable, and in the end, I just open the app to get rid of that nagging thought.
What I dislike about Mimo?
For other users, they see the leaderboard as added value but since I’m using the app for my own learning, I think it’s unnecessary.
Aside from this, I think the app is not sufficient for practice. Perhaps because I’m using the free version and it’s not within its scope, but if I want to practice it, I’ll have to use another console. This is clearly more of a preference concern and for now, the app will suffice since I’m just learning the fundamentals.
What have I learned from this experiment?
It’s nice to challenge myself in studying for even just ten minutes a day. Knowing that each session will contribute to my future self’s improvement is empowering. I also learned that for some reason, I could concentrate better on my Mimo app in between conference calls. It became a welcome break from office work. On the weekends, however, I would usually forget to use the app until late in the evening. Even when I didn’t reach my 400exp/day goal, Mimo still counted those days to my streak. The next time I try this again, I will have to reinforce my objective by counting it a streak when I reach my target.