Why traditional learning methods fail for Millennials

Why traditional learning methods fail for Millennials

In this post I won’t be talking about the misgivings of social media in the young generation, or, the under-representation of women in computer technology, or how straight-out-of-college engineer kids are forced to slog for hours for peanuts as salary. Rather, I want to talk about the importance of computer awareness and the effects of community on people who want to learn computer programming.

This post if about the young and awesome people like you who want to get into the computer programming world, and ride on the current technology wave. This is no secret: if you love to create things or you want to be somebody in the coming years, odds are you must adopt Technology. Take my word for it: in near future, there will be no music created with pure human talent alone, there will be no books written with 100% human effort, no food cooked in restaurants without the assistance of computer technology, no 100% cars on road driven by humans alone. You will live to see that.


We already see the effects of CGI graphics in the modern day movies and series, don’t we? How many scenes of Game of Thrones do you think were created without the assistance of Computer graphics? Well, don’t answer that. I can go on, but you get the point. There is no future for us, without computer technology assistance. But in that world, do you want to be just the consumer of technology or be on the other side of the table? Won’t you want to create beautiful little computer programs and be part of the new world movement?

{I present to you, the key to the locked door. But hey, it’s abstract}

While the emphasis on computer programming and jobs that entail are huge, the significance of computer education is manifolds time greater, so that you don’t miss out on the next opportunity coming your way.


There is a general tendency of people thinking: if you don’t know something, you go to school, learn that skill, earn enough credit points and profess what you learned. But I say that is bullshit. There is no rule which says if I learned chemistry in high-school, and I have a certificate which says “This dude knows Drugs”, then it means I know that shit. This also doesn’t mean that chemicals are where my future is. No, and a big no. This is a such a classic cliché and millions have conceded their lives to it. Trust me, when I say this: if you graduate from college with a Marketing degree and you know you suck at marketing and you know you just did graduate because your parents wanted you to and you can see an obvious future in computer programming, then there is no f*ing rule-book that declares that you are not allowed to leave your appalling, good-for-nothing job and go pursue what you think is right for you.


Since I started collecting ideas about this article, I ran across 3 white-paper studies done by scholars and they have found that being part of a community really helps people achieve results faster. This may sound like a cliché (that’s the second time in last 2 paragraphs), but research tells that if your approach to learning is driven by a community around you, you will actually learn faster and complete the course material while feeling a sense of increased endurance toward the hard work you do on the way. Here are a couple of reasons I scavenged from the research papers here and here why professional learning communities stick:

Complete learning experience:

As the phrase suggests, if you learn a skill with a professional learning community, the learning experience is beyond just skill acquisition and note taking. You get the wholesomeness, the completeness of the act of learning.

The connection:

That’s right. One develops personal bonds with the community members and feels belonged.

Knowledge Sharing among one-another:

That’s just a trite, we humans are hard-wired to share. And studies have shown that we learn more when we share more. And who do we share with? Obviously, the community in which we learned.

Shared goal:

When one learns a skill in a community, there is joy or a perceived sense of satisfaction of having a shared goal. And isn’t it obvious that something becomes easy when it is perceived as fun?

Oh, and just so you were wondering what outcomes are observed from using means of professional learning communities to acquire skills. Here are few for you to ponder over:

  • Decreased dropout rate which means completion of the learning course
  • Immediate practical application of acquired knowledge
  • Active engagement and increased chances of understanding the concepts

When I was a decade younger I used to save money and learn new technologies like Javascript straight from Internet. Any random blog or tutorial site that came as Google search result was my friend. But the disadvantages were far too many. Lack of comprehensive flow, in-depth knowledge, etc. Some topics would be covered well in one website but for other topics I would again have to rely on Google search. It would take forever to finish anything.

Now I just buy a Udemy course for any new technology like Docker, Kubernetes and do the training while getting assistance from the trainer and the community in that site.

Well, that should get you started. I mean if you wanted to acquire that nice hot skill you had your eye on, do so, but remember going to the platform which provides professional learning communities as the main agenda. Sites like Udemy and Coursera are good and if you have enough time on your watch a coaching center in the city is always there for you.

You can day-dream about winning the world, but without taking the first step, you would still be where you are. ― Anonymous

Thank You for reading!

Image credit: Photo by Oscar Nilsson on Unsplash

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About Sunny Mishra

Sunny is a senior developer with a decade of experience working on Backend architecture. In his freetime he is a storyteller and a YouTuber.

Bangalore, India
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