How do you learn? Formal vs Informal

+1 R.K Cheun · December 23, 2015
I'm wondering how people here have started learning programming/markup languages and how. Most people that view the videos are most likely informal, such as myself and I found out (in all cases) that I'm more of a Formal learning type where I need someone to actually teach me. What about you guys? Are you more educable via formal or informal methods?

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+1 Linguist Llama · December 23, 2015
You can't just lump all teaching styles into two categories. Whether someone considers themselves learning "formally" or "informally" from Bucky is subjective, for example...

Well, that's probably not the best example, but as a better example, Brian Kernighan (one of the authors of K&R2E) has been teaching at Princeton University for over fifteen years, now. Consider that if he were to teach C at that campus, he would probably use his own textbook as a lesson plan; why not use something that has stood the test of time, after all?

Is a student who learns at his campus by reading through that book and doing the exercise any more or less formally educated than a student who learns at home by reading through that book and doing the exercises? The only difference is, one will receive a piece of paper. Is that how you define "formal education"?

How meaningful is this definition? Suppose we instead compare a student who learns C from Kanetkar, who is also affiliated with educational institutes but has by contrast only produced really poor books about C... Is formal education guided by a poor guide better or worse than informal education guided by a good guide?

Remember... What limits education is not what external things happen around you, but what happens inside of your head.

What is it that you're really trying to ask?
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