Fujitsu, the company where I work, have just started a twelve month develpment program called RADAR which I am participating in. So I am officially a Radaree.

The RADAR program covers learning about the business and various technical streams includng Cloud, AI, Security and Programing. This learning includes webinars, CBT and trainer lead training, self motivated research and for me personally keeping a record of my experiences in this blog.

So month one is under way and we are looking at learning to learn. Which initially sounded a bit daft if I’m honest but after the first webinar, a Linkedin course and doing further reading you begin to realise you do have to dust off the old cobwebs and start to think about how you learn. Since leaving formal education and college I found I tended to learn just enough to get by. Working in tech like a lot of my colleagues you might buy a book or attend some online training and rely on Google to fill in the blanks later, which isn’t always ideal.

However the passion to learn a subject isn’t always there and that is one of the criteria for wanting to learn. For instance I love the idea of coding and have spent a lot of my own time over the years learning Visual Basic, C#, PowerShell and Python. Then there are subjects like networking or storage solutions that leave me cold and that is where I noticed it is hardest to learn when you really don’t care to know. The trouble is sometimes that care or need to know is being influenced by someone paying your wages so you need to find the passion from somewhere. So I am hoping that this Radar program will help in that area of my learning.

So learning to learn has been interesting. As part of the program I have looked back over the years from going to school and the subjects I enjoyed and excelled at and the subjects I tried to avoid and didn’t do so good at.

My very first job after leaving school was working at British Airways as an Avionic Engineer Apprentice. I enjoyed working on the Aircraft learning new skills and applying those skills at work. Going to college as part of that Apprenticeship I really did not enjoy. I admit to struggling with one of the subjects and that caused me some issues with enthusiasm for turning up to those classes and as a result I failed that subject. I was still very young and this caused me a lot of grief at the time as up until that point I had always done well academically.

Vanessa King, positive psychology expert at Action for Happiness said “It’s actually a core need for psychological wellbeing. Learning can help us build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy. It can also be a way of connecting with others too, as human beings, we have a natural desire to learn and progress. Psychologists call it mastery.” which I can relate to. It can feel great to be referred to as a subject matter expert at work where you have done the ground work and now considered a master in that field by your colleagues. To be able to pass on that knowledge and help is very fulfilling.

The Linkedin training was hosted by Gary Bolles who had some interesting ideas, One of which was to catalogue the learning you have done over the years through a variety of experiences. Step away and then come back to that inventory of learning and rate how well you still know that subject today and how much you love that subject. This was an interesting experience and does show how where there is a passion to learn the knowledge does seem to stick.

I did the course and even got a certifiate to show for it.

I am still working my way through the rest of the course material and have also ordered a book called “Ikigai” which is based on a Japanese concept to improve work and life. The BBC did an article on the subject here if you are interested to learn more, which looks like it might be an inspiring read.

The first part of the technical training will be around Artificial Intelligence which I am told can be quite a challenging learning experience so hopefully with the new skills and knowledge I have obtained around learning to learn things should be a bit easier…