In the IT field it is important to grok technology quickly and over time learn more about the inner details of it. It is also important however not to get too bogged down with the smaller details too early as that can lead to confusion. I find it best to get a general overview and then gradually delve deeper over time. I like to call this deep learning and can be visualized as the following image:-
Deep Learning

20,000 m Level

This is a general overview of a technology or concept. Some good sources for this level are Wikipedia. Amazon has a tool that integrates with the Chrome browser that allows you to send web pages to your Kindle device, by doing this with Wikipedia pages you can quickly build up a subject library for reading at your leisure.

10,000 m Level

At this level it is important to split out the subject matter into sub-areas. Something large such as web development can be split into HTML, JavaScript, CSS. Now you can read deeper material on these sub-areas or watch online training from providers such as Pluralsight. These sub areas may also have a number of frameworks that can be used to solve a problem. If yo are looking for JavaScript frameworks, have a look at what others are using on services such as GitHub.

Ground Level

At this level you should be proficient to create simple projects (I call mine spike projects) that allow you to get your hands dirty and try new ideas, stretch the technology in question and see what works and what doesn't. It is a good idea to write a brief review of the technology outlining the good and bad points. If there are too many bad points; do some research into related projects that could be used instead.

Going Deeper

There might be aspects to a technology that you might have only touched on such as optimizing Entity Framework queries. But there are places where you can find out more such as Stack Overflow, you can pretty much guarantee that there will be an expert on there that will know your technology inside and out. In fact there are plenty of developers who actually created these technologies on there answering questions. So by following this method, you should hopefully get up to speed on a new technology pretty quickly.
Happy coding


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