Learning in Public: The fastest way to learn

Name Learning in Public
Summary Publishing what you learn does not only improve your own learning process. It helps teach others, fosters relationships and collaboration, and can open unexpected opportunities.
Keywords Education, Transparency, Trust, Social networking
Type Best-practice
FSDL position Personal work methods


Learning in Public gives others the opportunity to learn from you and with you in ways that create synergy. Being both student and teacher improves the overall learning experience, quality of learning, and it fosters your relationship network. In collaboration it helps create more vibrant communities. It was Shawn Wang in his blog post Learn in Public who popularized the best-practice of having “a habit of creating learning exhaust”. His blog post is a must-read and contains good pointers to related materials.


  • We should be lifelong learners. But there’s so much to learn and so little time.
  • How do we learn best? How do we find mentors to help us along?
  • How do we demonstrate to others that we master a particular skill?


While you learn document what you did and the problems you solved:

  • Tell others about your progress, use your public channels to inform people.
  • Write a blog post, microblog, create a video, diagram or presentation, publish your notes.
  • When coding, fork repositories, run the code yourself, and report back issues and patches.

Useful tips:

  • Make the time between learning something new and sharing about it as short as possible.
  • Don’t feel responsibility to please readers or followers. You are sharing first and foremost for yourself.
  • Don’t judge results by how others respond to it. Just consider your own progression.
  • Do not be afraid of criticism. Take genuine critical responses as input to learn some more.


  • Rephrasing what you have learned helps your own understanding.
  • Other people will reflect on practicality of learned insights, give useful feedback.
  • You learn to overcome your fear to be perfect. You can diminish perfectionism.
  • People with shared interests may reach out to you, opening opportunities to collaborate.
  • You demonstrate experience, a genuine willingness to learn, and mastery of skills.
  • Public learning teaches others in turn.

→ Overall Learning in Public creates a synergy that accelerates the learning process.