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Teach

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It is said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. This is true when you are learning Python. There are many ways to do this.

Here are a few ideas: whiteboarding with other Pythonistas, writing blog posts explaining newly learned concepts, recording videos in which you explain something you learned, or simply talking to yourself at your computer. Each of these strategies will solidify your understanding as well as expose any gaps in your understanding.

00:00 Teach.

00:05 Now, you may be thinking as a beginner, “How can I teach anybody anything?” Well, teaching is a great way to cement your understanding. I’ve been teaching guitar for around 15 years, and played for around 20 before I started teaching, but in the first week that I taught—in fact, the first morning that I taught—I had people ask me questions that I’d never thought about on the instrument before, and had to think about them and then get back to them the next week.

00:31 Teaching people is a great way to really know whether you understand something. There’s an old programmers trope about having a rubber duck next to your monitor, and if you’re trying to work out how something works, you need to be able to explain it to the rubber duck.

00:45 Teaching other people is similar to this, as you can’t make assumptions about what they know and what they don’t know. A good suggestion for this is setting up your own programming blog.

00:56 Trying to explain what you’ve been learning is a great way of documenting it, but it’s also a good way of filling in any gaps that may be in your knowledge.

01:04 As you start writing it out, you may find that there are some areas that you’ve just glossed over, and you’ll have to research them a little more and understand them a little better to be able to put them in your programming blog.

01:16 You can also take this as an opportunity to field and answer questions from readers. Now, obviously, a small programming blog may not get a lot of traffic initially, but after a while, it could do, and you may get questions from readers giving you the opportunity to answer questions in a slightly different area of the topic you’ve been writing about.

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