Adrià Fontcuberta

Learning in public

“Expand my brain, learning juice!” — Homer Simpson, poet (Episode s17e06)

When I started my newsletter, I stated that Learning in Public was one of the main reasons for doing so.

But, why?

And more important: Is it worth it?

When I was 15, I started my own personal blog. It was hosted on Blogger, and it was a collection of random, funny, and exciting stuff I stumbled upon. Nothing fancy. Yet, I loved two things:

First, that I enjoyed creating websites. Blogger had this ugly(?) XML-like language to tweak its blogs, but I felt mighty changing colors and sizes. 13 years later, here I am.

The second thing I loved (and right to the point of this post, focus Adrià goddammit) was that I knew stuff because I had shared them. I was aware of new things, and I remembered them because I took the time of writing them down and creating the post.

This feeling was powerful. Do you mean I get to do what I like while learning interesting stuff? Shut up and take my money (I was 15, so yeah, good luck taking all my money).

I’ve had several blogs afterward (Geeks.cat, that disappeared. And now this one). The idea, however, remained the same: forcing yourself to share and explain something is the best way to learn it. I’d go even further: the only way of truly knowing something is checking if you are able to explain it using simple words.

I have changed the format (I’ve given several conference talks). The format is not important. A blog, a short talk, a video, a podcast, an answer to an online forum, whatever. As long as you share, you improve.

The goal shouldn’t be “to reach as many people as possible”. That’s a quite lovely side effect. Yet, the goal should be to help your future self.

Start simple

Do you read cool stuff online? Share it on your team’s Slack, on Twitter. Curate a post list and publish it (it’s so damn easy).

The wheel never stops turning.

Then, you might see the benefit of explaining something. It could be a short blog post, a code snippet shared on Codesandbox, a cool design on Dribbble, a lightning talk in your company.

And this, folks, is the main reason behind this blog and my newsletter. It’s just another channel I wanted to explore. The goal is just growing.

Go for it.