I always thought that to fully understand something like a new trend or a new technology, you can’t limit yourself to reading what other people wrote about the topic. Reading is a great start, but next for me comes a phase of exploration and experimentation: learning by doing.
One example of this is my approach to Bitcoin and, more in general, cryptocurrencies. While one can have different opinions about Bticoin, it’s a phenomenon that it’s hard to ignore, therefore I decided to learn more about it.
I could have stopped at reading articles about it, but I don’t think I wouldn’t have the same understanding of it I have now after trying to buy coins, mining coins (I even wrote a tutorial on how to mine primecoins in the cloud), trading both online and with cash coins and ultimately spending coins to buy physical good.
Did I become an expert Bitcoin day-trader or miner by doing all of these things? Not at all, but it gave me a much more complete view of the technology itself, understanding where are some of its benefits that can be exploited and problems that can be solved.
The same can be applied to different disciplines and aspects of a person’s life. It’s hard to be a great designer without knowing how whatever is designed is built, and the best way to learn that process is to try it in first person. Food is another great example. I believe that only by not being afraid of pans and pots one can truly appreciate the food they eat at the restaurant. By knowing and trying the process of cooking anything, a world of nuances in how the food taste opens up.
So, what are you going to try and learn next?