edxldt100x – 1 – Learning Experiences

For the pursuit of this course, hereby I describe 3 personal learning experiences that I can recall.

Learning 1: Describe in 4-5 sentences a memory you recall from when you were learning something in elementary or middle school.

It was a question about the differences in the heat you feel and the damage it can make when you hover your hand above a burning gas stove versus a boiling pot of water. My Physic teacher gave the question to the whole class kind of out of the blue, it was her way to challenge the class and up the atmosphere, and not quite related to the original topic – as I remember. I wasn’t able to answer it myself, and the answer that my teacher revealed, later on, couldn’t convince me either. It took several years after that for me to arrive at the correct answer on my own. I learned two things from that. Firstly, it’s an useful safety info: don’t expose your hand to the steam from boiling water! And secondly, it’s important to have critical thinking mindset and don’t just take everything adults say as the truth – all humans can make mistake / have misunderstandings.

Learning 2: Describe in 4-5 sentences a memory you recall from when you were learning something in high school or college.

In Aptech (computer programming school), I learned about threading in programming by writing a computer simulation program of a crossroad with traffic lights and cars. Mr. Dung was our teacher in the class, and the concept of threading was both interesting and also quite difficult for me to grasp. One particular aspect that ignited my interest is that a thread can be paused to wait for notification from other thread or objects to resume its work. I then tried to design a traffic simulation to understand the concept better. It was a particular programming skill which is useful for my career as a programmer.

Learning 3: Describe in 4-5 sentences a memory you recall from when you were learning in a professional for formal (non-school) setting (first job, current career, etc.).

It is a situation at work when I was a junior programmer and had to tweak the color of a scene in a fairly complex mobile video game, and there were three values (red, green, blue) which could be changed in the code. The manual procedure to test the change is: (1) update the value in the code – 1 minute, (2) compile the code and re-install the game on a smartphone – take around 10 minutes, (3) play the game to reach the particular scene – take around 2 minutes, (4) observe the color and try to figure out the adjustments needed – take around 2 minutes. So in total, it took around 15 minutes per try. When my supervisor at that time saw me struggled and showing frustration with the task after nearly 2 hours trying to tweak the color, he told me to spend time writing some extra code which allows anyone to play the game and then use the volume buttons plus some touch gesture to tweak the color. It took around 45 minutes to code the extra “tool”, but afterward, the color can be tweaked super fast. The event taught me the mindset of always avoiding manual time-consuming work and work smarter, not harder.