Beginning enthusiast programmers on MeFi are often advised to learn by working on a substantial project and then exhibit it publicly on GitHub. How can someone new to a technology or tool scope out learning projects that are (a) commensurate with the learner's current, possibly rudimentary skills, (b) substantial enough to be a significant learning opportunity, and (c) interesting enough to hold the learner's attention past the initial phase? I'm especially interested in suggestions for learners who aren't learning front-end technologies or don't want to build yet another shopping cart or calendar widget.
You've taken some classes, academic or not, for fun or out of simple interest. Some of those classes were paid opportunities to socialize. You walked out of them not feeling very different from how you felt coming in. Then you forgot everything you were supposed to have learned, and you never did anything like that again. Other classes taught you (or put you on the road to learning) a fulfilling skill or a body of knowledge. What kinds of classes were they? How did you find out about them? What lasting effects have those classes had on your life? (e.g., took a foreign language class → went abroad without a guide, took a welding class → set up a workshop in the garage, etc.)
I sort of know Matlab, R, SPSS, and C. But how do I really learn Matlab, R, SPSS, and C? [more inside]
Basic programming using C++ from the ground up, high school edition. [more inside]
In my last year of college I took a seminar course at my school's "humanities center," a small interdisciplinary program that mostly focused on continental philosophy. Some of my fondest memories of college are from that course. Where and how can I recapture something of that fantastic mindstorm? [more inside]
How do you manage your knowledge? What do you do about the inevitability of losing the skills you don't practice? [more inside]