The Learning Journey, Part I

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Temet Nosce,

Visitors would read that in awe when entering Apollo’s temple in Greece, to visit the Delphi´s Oracle. The same phrase that Neo would face – over the door – when visiting the Oracle in the Matrix – 1999, Warner Brothers movie. Completely different epochs and visitors, but all of them had something in common, though, they were looking for answers.

Funny thing, that quote It’s all you were going to get from the so called «Oracle».

Let’s face it, going to someone else to find answers about one-self can be pretty deceiving. They could only give you a reflected image of yourself, and very likely, a distorted one – most of the time based upon our social masks. Now it’s truer than ever because, in the age of Instagram, we are just showing our good and happy side, in an endless stream of funny pictures – before the CV19 anyway – and mindfulness quotes.

MGM, Public Domain Image

It’s US who should have all the answers, not some Oracle in some temple, a look-alike NY´s kitchen  😉

Is the Oracle a scam?

Ask Dorothy and their friends in «The Wizard of Oz», Victor Fleming 1939, movie.

After a long journey travelling through the magical Land of Oz, and meeting the Wizard – Oracle – they learned he had not any answers for them, because he was just «the man behind the curtain», making the magical world go round. He was just a tool, a device, to create the journey of discovery – or creating the Matrix, if you will. A mirror character to the Architect in the Matrix movie, even though the latter has many more gnostic overtones than the Wizard.

The Oracle is just an archetype, which is there to reflect the self, to help them with the process of introspection, not to give out the actual answers. The process of knowing one-self is obviously, personal and unique.

The Cloud Journey,

That’s a concept I read about all the time on Linkedin, and probably some of you are familiar with it as well. Many times I’m being asked about my «journey» to the Cloud, how to get a job in the industry, or similarly, my preparation to achieve one specific certification. That’s a new phenomenon that’s been brought by social media, something that we could call effectively collaboratory learning or mentoring.

It’s accurate to describe the learning process as «a journey», though. Because learning should be an adventure, exploring unknown territory that could eventually take you out of the comfort zone. It will allow us to discover things about the self or Temet Nosce – the journey of self-discovery.

Maybe after all that time working on Development, now you are discovering that you are really enjoying working on Machine Learning or Analytics. And that’s something that usually one wouldn’t learn in the day job – rarely happens to have that kind of opportunities. In fact, you need to make those opportunities happen, and a good way to do is the embarking on the «learning journey».

Taking the first steps into the unknown

In the case of the «Cloud Journey», many people are giving the first steps into it using professional certifications. That’s a new phenomenon as well. Certifications are a good way to validate, up-to-date or enhance the professional experience. But I’ve never seen – at this scale – neophyte people take them as first steps to access an Industry.

Another way, which is related to the former, it’s taking one of the hundreds of pre-packaged video courses available in the different online learning platforms. They have been around for a long time now, but it’s only in the last few years that have become so ubiquitous, as a cheap way to self-learning and in many cases, as shortcuts to achieve certifications. That defeats, in part, the journey of self-learning or discovery, as you are taking a fast highway, instead of a secondary road. For sure, driving in a highway is faster and safer, but you will learn much more transiting on a secondary road. It’s tiresome, sure, but your driving skills will skyrocket.

Ideally, those courses should not be used as your main source truth and learning, but as a complement to your own learning path.

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