There are a number of ways you can learn programming or business analysis or any
other technical skill. I recommend both coaching and self study. I
am going to compare both modes of learning so you have a better idea of what
works for you and what doesn't.
Self Study or Teach Yourself
Self study is the type of learning where you are 100% responsible for the
outcome. It involves researching a concept, subject or topic through books,
online websites and other types of media. You set the learning goals by
yourself, draw up a lesson plan and then do your own reading and learning.
1. Self study is the cheapest way to learn a skill. It is cheaper than training,
coaching, mentoring or distance learning.
2. Self study is not the most productive or the fastest way to learn a skill. It
is easier for you to give up on your study goals because you are only
accountable to yourself. It is easier for you to skip on scheduled lessons
because you are only accountable to yourself.
3. Self study is great if you don't care about feedback. The books you are
reading are not likely to tell you anything about how you are doing or talk back
to you. So, if you like learning in solitude without any feedback from other
people, self study may be ideal for you.
Coaching involves someone else other than yourself walking you through your
1. Coaching is more expensive than self study because you have to pay for your
2. Coaching is a quicker, faster, surer way to achieve your learnng goals and
here is why. When you pay a coach to learn a skill (body building, writing,
internet marketing, etc.) you are more likely to do whatever it takes to
complete your program. So, you are more committed and invested in your goal.
3. Learning a new technical skill can be a difficult or frustrating experience
at times and having a coach walk you through the process can save you a lot of
tears, detours and time.
4. Your coach can show you the shortcuts that shave years off your learning
curve. There is a limit to how much you can actually learn about a subject just
by reading it. A coach can supply that experiential knowledge that will take you
years to learn otherwise. That is why the top performers in almost every
industry have mentors who are above them.
5. Since coaching is a one-to-one relationship, you must admire and respect your
coach and also get along fairly well with your coach otherwise you may well be
wasting your money and your time.
I hope this clarifies things for you. On my website, I have IT Career Books for
computer programmers, business analysts and other software development
professionals. These books are perfect if you are a do-it-yourself kind of
At the same time, I also have coaching programs that provide personalized,
one-on-one attention or feedback. So, just do what works for you
… get the ebooks if you prefer self study or the coaching programs if you want
a guide, mentor or trainer that will walk you through your
About The Author
My name is Kingsley Tagbo and I?m a technical expert living in Saint Louis,
Missouri. I write about the training, coaching, mentoring
and personal development of software development professionals including
business analysts, computer programmers, testers, project managers, web
designers, data analysts, report writers, software developers and other
information technology professionals .
My firm, Exacticity, performs software development consulting and training for
clients throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New
Zealand. If you are in need of software development consultants or training,
click here to get in touch with me.