I went to a great set of classes this weekend and wanted to share one of the things I learned. The classes had nothing at all to do with any form of technology, it was to get a hockey coaching license. It was a very fun class since we got to meet Jamie Baker and Jay Woodcroft . One slide was on the four stages of competence. I don't think I've seen this before but it's on wikipedia and something that has been around for quite some time. It breaks down the process into combination of 2 factors, Competence and Consciousness.
Taking those 2 factors there are 4 stages of learning. Here's the process from the highest level to the lowest.
1) Competence and Unconscious - This is where you have become competent in the area you are learning to the level that you are unconsciously react to accomplish something. - How times do you do things on autopilot? Your training has progress to the highest level and due to the number of repetitions it's been done it's just an automatic response now.
2) Competence and Conscious - You have the competence however are conscious of what you are doing. - How many times do you have to stop and think about what to do? Then have a little thought it's easy using the skills you already have.
3) Incompetence and Conscious - You don't have the skills yet but are aware of what needed to accomplish the need. - How many times do you know how to get where you need to be yet have to breakout a manual/book/something to find the skills needed to get there?
4) Incompetence and Unconscious - You are just starting out so there's not a high skill level nor the awareness to know what needs to be done. - How often have you started a new project and not known where to go or how to start it?