Brendan McKenzie

What did you learn this week?

Thursday, 16 November 2017

As developers, learning is part of our job, rarely are we faced with a problem where the solution is obvious and straightforward. Understanding the problem is a learning in itself.

Working in a digital agency I am fortunate enough to experience all sides of business when it comes to developing technical solutions for clients. The other week I (unintentionally) gatecrashed a weekly meeting the project managers have. Going around the circle they each have three questions to answer:

  1. What did you do well this week
  2. What could you do better this week
  3. What did you learn this week

Playing along with my gatecrashing I had to answer the questions. The first two were easy enough, they were basically status updates on the projects I was working on. The third one caught me.

How, as developers, do we quantify our learnings? On a typical week where there are no non-development encounters of note, how can you know what you learnt?

The project I am (and was) working on is a React Native mobile app, I'm fairly comfortable with React but developing cross-platform for Android and iOS introduces a lot of new problems that need resolving, so many lessons learnt.

What I'm trying to say is that sometimes it's beneficial to stop and take note of what you know, what you've learnt and the process you go through to acquire that knowledge.