The first step is always the hardest. In the world of modern technology, this statement is valid with particular strength; because the first step you take usually throws you right in the middle of it. The ocean of technology is vast, and shores are nowhere to be seen. Even the biggest enthusiasts can be crushed under the waves of available information.
So, how do you even start?
Unlike many traditional disciplines, where a more structured approach is easily applied; understanding modern technology basics can be very tough, as the fundamentals differ and shift according to your focus; and area of interest. Everything is so interlinked and intertwined that the more you learn, the stronger you realize how hopelessly little you know.
That’s why the best way to approach any new technology is through the prism of a specific goal in mind; or a problem at hand. Narrow down the scope of your search and stick to its parameters as much as possible. Uncover the things that concern only the specific task you want to achieve; acquire working knowledge, apply whatever you have learned. Then repeat the process.
Keep in mind that working knowledge is all you need to get.
Forget about absolute understanding.
In mostly all cases, understanding completely how a technology works would take an ungodly amount of time. Most modern applications’ basic principles are numerous and often require in-depth interdisciplinary knowledge to be fully grasped. Such a comprehensive understanding might be handy if you want to develop new technologies or improve the existing ones. Still, for troubleshooting and day-to-day activities, it is a vast overkill.
Having a specific goal in mind or trouble to solve is crucial; because it would give you a way to measure your progress.
It is one thing to want to build your own home network and an entirely different proposition to try; to learn VoIP, network security, protocols, routing, and infrastructure. Going for the former would introduce you to a relatively small part of the network world; where you can play and experiment while learning the things you need to solve your very specific problem. Trying to learn the latter could overwhelm you in no time, as networking has so many aspects; which would hardly make any sense without a meaningful anchor, an attainable goal to strive toward.
Diving head-on in any technological domain sounds a bit like; trying to learn to walk, to run, to swim, to ride a bike, and to juggle at the same time. Usually, skills are acquired one by one. Choosing a specific problem to solve would give provide the necessary focus and guidance. Once the issue is resolved; you can find another one and start looking for ways to solve it, expanding your knowledge and skillset steadily.
This way, piece by piece, your own technological puzzle will begin to form, weaving intriguing and ever-changing patterns of knowledge.
Featured Image By Pixabay.