Here's the revised version, updated with feedback from @xMartin @chiara @nicolai on Monday.
What do you all think? @starkcoffee @anaketa @bastianalbers @robert @ben and everyone else!
Suggestions for an optimal learning mindset
- De-stigmatize discomfort.
You're here to learn. That means, you don't know everything. If you do, you can coach!
That also means, there might be times when you don't understand concepts, when you struggle, when there is discomfort.
That is ok.
Look around you. You are not alone. We are all here to learn. We are all here to go from zero knowledge to a little bit more knowledge. It's normal to feel uncomfortable when you're learning, because you’re doing something new.
Even your coaches once upon a time had same or even less knowledge than you. So it's ok to feel frustrated and uncomfortable and not the "smartest" in the room. And most likely your coaches are STILL learning. This is actually what I find so cool about the tech world: there's always more to learn.
Not knowing is normal and natural, almost expected. Everyone feels like this once in a while. You belong here.
- Neutralize negative thoughts. Learn for yourself.
It's ok to make mistakes. Professionals, those who get paid to code, make mistakes too! No one, absolutely no one, is perfect.
There are no expectations on you to perform in any way; our only expectations are that you play, explore and have fun!
It's ok to take breaks.
Any critical thoughts you have is like graffiti on the wall, radio murmurs, and electrical impulses.
Pay only attention to the thoughts that serve you.
- Persist using your reason why.
Knowing why you're here can keep you going through the hard times.
So WHY do you want to learn?
For me, I want to live in the future. One of my favorite thinkers about technology, Alan Kay, said: The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
So that's why I do this: I want the future of technology to be diverse and welcoming.
What you can envision and describe can be built.
slides from #codingbecause
- You are in control of your learning.
Help your coaches understand what you want to learn and how you like to learn. Coaches are here to learn how to coach, so give them the feedback on how best to help you learn.
Try to type everything. Typing is also learning. Type on your own keyboard even if your coach has to spell out what to type so that you learn where backticks, open brackets, and other programming-only keys are and what they're called.
Even if some coaches are so eager to help, try to take time to explore on your own.
Most programmers have preferences for tools and languages, just like everyone. Don't ask them which ones are the best, however, as they may lead to an outright war between coaches. Especially if you’re beginning to code, focus on learning without getting too deeply into the tool choice. If you are still interested, however, in the “best” tools and languages, try to get a range of different opinions.
Coding is collaboration, and Open Tech School is a co-learning community. Help your coaches become better coaches! Lean on your fellow learners. Come back as a coach or organizer!
- Ask questions. Rephrase questions if the answer you get you don't get. There are no dumb questions.
- If it's something you're not sure you get, explain it back to the coach in your own language to check if you really got it.
- You may have zero knowledge about the technology but you have infinite intelligence.
- You may not know much about the technology, but you are an expert in how you learn. Ask for a drawing if you learn best visually. Ask for an example or a metaphor if that works better for you.
Typing IS also learning. Type on your own keyboard even if your coach has to spell out what to type so that you learn where backticks, open brackets, and other programming-only keys are and what they're called.
There is no "behind." The coaches and community 100% support you in going through the material at a pace that feels right to YOU.
Learning is more important than getting through all the material at hand. If you chart your own way by taking 'detours', you are directing your own learning. That's a useful skill too.
-- Reaching the mountaintop is rewarding because it is hard.
At OTS we create a welcoming environment for hands-on, experiential learning at your own pace. Learn through exploration. Whatever you make today is great!
-- Coding is collaboration, and Open Tech School is a co-learning community. Help your coaches become better coaches! Lean on your fellow learners. Come back as a coach or organizer!
No racism, no sexism, and no discriminating behaviour will be tolerated.
Don't look away!
If something seems off, just ask and take care of each other.
If you need help, please contact the event organizers.