Memorizing vs. understanding

Here are some of my random thoughts of learning, specifically the debate on memorizing vs. understanding:

  • Memorizing and understanding are like two hands with their fingers interlocked. When one hand goes up (memorizing), it should raise the other hand. In other words, memorizing helps with understanding, and understanding helps with memorizing.
  • There has to be a balance between memorizing and understanding.
  • Both skills are needed. Sometimes there is just no avoiding having to use brute memorization. But also it is important to know how to gain understanding by using repetition, gaining exposure to many resources, and using different techniques i.e. video, books, interactive learning, etc.
  • I have been guilty of just memorizing code challenge solutions. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. I think I can deepen my understanding and remembering by saying what each line of code does and why/how it functions. And also apply what I learned by seeking out new code challenges.
  • I have to use repetition. I was learned this when I was learning Ruby on Rails.
  • The most important thing for me is fun. If I am enjoying myself and time flies, then the learning will happen as long as I never quit.

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