Language learning and polymathy

A little language learning humor

Hey folks, I hope you had a great week. This second instalment of Business of Software is focused on learning, or self-directed learning to be more specific. Let’s jump straight into it.


How to improve your language skills to work remotely

If you want to join a global remote team, your technical skills won't matter if your English isn't good enough. You have to communicate efficiently, both in verbal and written forms. This is a guide for taking charge of your language learning until you're ready to join a distributed team.

Click here and read on →

Even if the article focuses on improving ESL skills (English as a Second Language), I believe anyone learning a foreign language can benefit from this advice.

If you know anyone that could benefit from the advice, feel free to click the button below and share. I'd appreciate it 🤗.

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Link of the week

The Polymath Playbook by Salman Ansari

Salman dives deeply into a subject currently en vogue in tech circles: polymathy.

He argues that since the industrial revolution, we've been pushed towards specialization. In a manufacturing operation, it's in the company's best interest to have workers doing one thing well. Diverse skills meant more training time and less productivity.

That line of thought no longer holds in the knowledge economy. High specialization has diminishing returns: more competition, fewer opportunities and less flexibility.

On the other hand, a polymath (or generalist) can combine knowledge of a few different fields. The skills they develop in that intersection of fields set them apart from the competition and gives them more adaptability in an ever-expanding job market.

The more pursuits you expose yourself to, the more models you have to work from, and the more you can stand out from the competition.

For example, if you mix engineering, marketing, business, and writing skills, you get Patrick McKenzie.


Quote of the week

Prolific author Louis L’Amour on self-education (emphasis mine):

Actually, all education is self-education. A teacher is only a guide, to point out the way, and no school, no matter how excellent, can give you education. What you receive is like the outlines in a child’s coloring book. You must fill in the colors yourself.


A little language learning humor

Since the main topic this week is language learning, I couldn’t help but link to this funny video (Youtube link).

Got this from Nat Eliason while watching his Roam Research workshop with Tiago Forte. If you’re interested in but new to Roam, that’s a pretty good starting point.


That’s it for today. If you’re in Canada or the US, I hope you have a great labour day long weekend. If you’re anywhere else in the world, have a great regular weekend 😄

Cheers 🍻

Dre