Master one skill at a time

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Summary: Research shows that developing mastery of a large skill is best done by mastering smaller skills that you can achieve 90% accuracy in very quickly. LispCast Introduction to Clojure has broken the skills you need down for you.

Some people have asked me about how smooth the learning is in LispCast Intro to Clojure. While everyone has their own pace and preexisting skillset, I think there's something else important built into Intro to Clojure. I deliberately planned out the new things you learn so that you don't learn anything you won't need and you only need one new thing at a time. Research shows that this is a very effective way to learn.

When choosing a skill to learn, the most effective way to learn it is to master it in 1-3 sessions of 45-60 minutes. Master means you need to be at 90% accuracy. The only way you can do that is to work on something—one small thing—to the exclusion of other things. If you've got too much to think about, you won't be able to master any of the things quickly. So in Intro to Clojure, I deliberately broke down the material into bite-sized bits. You learn one bit, then practice it a few times.

The bits are small enough that a few times is enough to get good at them. For instance, one bit might be if expressions. So there's a slide about if expressions with some explanation, then you see one example of it, then it's your turn to practice it.

And then the next bit you learn incorporates everything you already know (that's very easy for you now) plus one bit more. So the next bit may be defining functions. So you are asked to write a function that has an if expression in it. That way, you're reinforcing the if (which is already "natural"), practicing function definitions, and integrating the two together.

The whole thing results in a super smooth ride through Clojure land. People finish the first part feeling very confident in their abilities. And by the end of the course they've had a very deep experience of what makes Clojure special. I surprised myself that, going step by step the way I described, without using any code that wasn't taught, I was able to plot a course into some very cool territory. It was always my goal to go deep instead of wide, but it was a shock how deep it got.

I used to sell Intro to Clojure separately, but now I've rolled it into PurelyFunctional.tv Online Mentoring. If you invest \$25/month into your programming career, you'll get unlimited access to all of the lessons and courses in the program. It's a great investment, and you should start now.