I was surprised by the number of people who’d never participated in a code study group. Of the people who answered the first question, “Q1: How many of you have learned to code in study groups?”, 67% stated that they hadn’t, and a few others said you’d paired, but nothing much beyond that. Looks like most of our code newbies have been flying solo.
I spent the first few months of my learn-to-code journey learning on my own. I didn’t have the courage to reach out to people, and wasn’t excited about revealing how little I knew to strangers. The idea of study groups felt like a lot of work, and I thought I’d be better off doing it on my own.
It was a conscious decision, but it was also the easiest thing to do.
For the many solo learners we have in our community, I wonder how many of you made a similar decision to go at it alone, and how much of that decision was simply about convenience. But when we asked what you thought some of the downsides of study groups were, the top three answers were the risk of getting derailed and distracted, being unable to cater to different skill levels, and struggling to be heard within the group.
I’ve definitely shared those concerns, and still do.
But what’s interesting about those three concerns is that they can be solved by your answers to the second question, “Q2: I think code study groups would be most beneficial when _________.”
There were a lot of different answers, but most of them boiled down to setting clear goals and having something specific to focus on. It’s easier to be heard within a group if everyone’s goal is to learn, and not to be right. It’s easier to stay focused when you’re working on something relatable, important, and specific.
But the most popular answer to the second question was that code study groups are most beneficial when you’re trying something new. Definitely makes that new thing a lot less intimidating when you’ve got a few sidekicks with you. And hopefully you met a few at this week’s chat.