Learning Methodologies

There are ways to apply a skill using different methodologies, something developed by experts who have practiced and tuned them through iteration in their experiences. You might learn a methodology while taking a course in college, though they are usually theoretical and teach you the overarching principles. So the best ways to learn methodologies are through companies that use them in their everyday business and having a mentor is even more effective because, through your interpersonal interactions, you learn the intricacies of its application. I think this is one reason why universities champion the use of internships in their curriculum.

A few years back, I taught college interns some of the methodologies I had been using in the development of an application – the flagship product of the business. I shared with them the methods of creating new versions of the application, including the whole production cycle – development, quality control, and dissemination. After learning my methods, they can choose whether or not to use them later in their career but they will at least have a perspective.

As I think about how I apply my skill set, I realize that I use methodologies from scattered sources throughout my career. For example, here is a table that illustrates the methods I use related to my skill of website development:

Method

Source

Object-Oriented Programming Learned about it from a course in   college, applied it through practice in the early applications I developed.
Nomenclature for Naming Variables Learned it from a course in college.
Use of Functions, Procedures Conceptualized it first in a course   in college, and then learned more about it by viewing examples in programs   and books.
Web Page Structure Reviewed the structure of other websites, read a book   about search engine optimization.
Applying Style Learned the use of CSS hands-on and   by reading a book.
Planning/Scoping The Application Learned this methodology from my mentor, who was meticulous
in his planning.

During the building stage, as you are learning and building an expertise with a skill, you should understand the subtle or apparent differences in the methodologies you are learning. You might have to use a particular methodology because it is required to by your employer; however, later in your career, you have the opportunity to improve it. Once you become an expert with a skill, you will have your own methodologies that you practiced in your experiences.

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