Teaching yourself by teaching others, slowly.

At some point during my CS studies I decided to do a lecture on the C programming language. At that point I had no clue whatsoever about the language, but this was in a way an experiment to test if it’s any easier to learn something by trying to teach others about it.

First of all, I do acknowledge that it is a dangerous thing when noobs go on to teach other noobs. This can perpetuate all sorts of bad practices. Not intentionally, mind you, but through ignorance of the would be lecturer. His experience with the subject in question is only marginally greater than that of his students. But precisely because of that I feel there’s a lot of opportunity for new insights. Not to mention that it sure is easier to learn by teaching.

When you first approach something new, the things that puzzle you the most are the ones that receive the most attention. But at some point in your journey of learning they become second nature. After awhile you start thinking: how could anyone struggle with this simple concept?

So before you lose track of the things that were the hardest for you, while being a novice, take plenty of notes. Then give it some time, dig deeper, do the research. At the point when you’re more than comfortable with the subject, go back to your notes and do some teachin’.

That is, if you still want to.

 
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