learning how to learn: not just for librarians!

Dorothea writes rather eloquently about “the learning process of systems librarians”:http://cavlec.yarinareth.net/archives/2005/08/10/learning-how-to-learn/ — and I’ll second that rather enthusiastically for web developers, designers, etc.

These lists are pointless (mine emphatically included!). They?re outdated as soon as they appear. They tempt people to think that if they take a few tech classes and learn a few incantations, they are magically anointed [….]

web designers! 😉

I was having a conversation with somebody at work this morning and talking about how long I’ve been here, which’ll be 5 years come December, and afterwards I thought about how much I’ve learned, and in how many different directions, since I started in 2000.

I’ve picked up PHP, mySQL, plus enough XSLT to be dangerous. I’ve gotten increasingly deeper into accessibility and CSS-based design. I’ve learned some basic information architecture, usability, done user testing of various sorts. I’ve trained people to use software and web interfaces, explained blogging to my boss, figured out how to modify other people’s programs. I’ve had several years of supervising experience, including training someone old enough to be my father. 🙂 And every time I think I’ve gotten to a plateau in my learning, I’ve found a new frontier.

It’s challenging, but it makes for a sense of personal challenge. That was the other thing in the conversation: I was saying something about how the web is still changing, as are people’s expectations of it, and the other person asked, “so, you like this job?” and I had to answer enthusiastically: yes.

Which I guess puts last night’s install-a-thon debacle into a little more perspective…it’s all part of the learning process. Honestly, now that I’ve tried it once, I have suggestions and ideas for next time, same as I do at work: places where I can see how to increase efficiency and reduce frustration, to make the process itself exciting and joyful. Will need to think about that and articulate it somehow….