Michael, muttering

Tiny Learning Milestones

One of the more impactful things I've read recently was Julia Evan's post on Celebrating Tiny Learning Milestones. I found it especially helpful because I'm a slow learner, which means goals like finishing a book or completing a course can be quite daunting.

As a result, when I set out to learn something new - it helps me to isolate areas and moments on the learning path that gives me little endorphins. For me, one such moment is whenever I happen to correlate a concept or a bit of information with something I've previously learned or vice-versa.

For example, I've been exploring embedded systems using a TI MSP430 board. One of the things with microcontrollers is you suddenly care more about registers, memory, and instructions - so I had to figure a few things about how the CPU uses all three, and how it loads the next instruction to be executed. Interestingly, I also learnt a bit yesterday about how Go uses the program counter and stack pointer (PC and SP) registers to produce stack traces for goroutines, and I realized it made more sense to me because I knew to an extent - how those registers work.

I think milestones like this matter because they validate my learnings and help me see that they aren't useless after all. With computers specifically, it's also interesting to see how intertwined these concepts can be.

At this point, I'm neither an expert in microcontrollers nor Go profiling - but I have some mental model and base knowledge to better understand what comes next and I'm looking forward to it :)