Learn, Unlearn, Repeat

Have you ever wondered why sometimes, each of us get stuck in the same place, same role and it feels like, it is never going to change?

Srihari Udugani
3 min readAug 7, 2023
Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

On 05-Aug-2023, I was sharing my career journey in an event Beyond Code organised by Recro, which was an amazing experience. While, I was talking through my journey, I realised an important point.

The growth, I saw in my career until now was not because of my superior coding skills (I was an average coder), nor it was because of my fantastic knowledge on the domain (there were many who understood the domain more than me).

I got that growth because, I was consistently adding value by learning and adopting to the situation raised and some which I got into.

But the important aspect here is that, I could have learnt new things, only if, I had unlearned something else.

If I had not unlearned something, then my thought process, mindset wouldn’t have not changed and I could not have not seen different ways to handle the given situation.

When I went deep in my thoughts, I realised that without my own knowledge, I had adopted a process for learning, unlearning and repeating.

Here is the approach I took over the years.

Process of adopting to any situation

Step#1 Learn — Learning a new concept or a tool or a technology for a given situation or an upcoming work.

Step#2 Apply — As a situation arise, apply a learnt concept or technology or a tool that seems right for that situation.

Step#3 Collect — This is an important step in the process; gather the experience, issues, problems that were faced during the apply step.

Step#4 Unlearn — since the experience, issues and problems etc. are known to you, unlearning a concept or technology or tool becomes easy.

The unlearn step is not about completely forgetting a concept or a tool or technology, it is more about how to look out for the problems, issues and risks that were faced and how to use the experience in upcoming situations.

This means you need to learn something new!

I am no more stuck with that previously learnt concept or a tool or a technology, I am now more focused on the experience and looking ways to avoid the problems and issues.

As long as you continuously adopt to new situations by utilising the experiences and solving for problems and issues, learning and unlearning becomes implicit.

The more such cycles in your career, the more benefit you can bring to your team, organisation and yourself.

So, as a technical team lead or in any other role you are in, reflect on how often you see this cycle? If you are stuck in the same role for a long time, then the number of cycle of learning and unlearning is not enough.

If you want to grow further in your role, assess what experiences should you take forward, what you should unlearn and start looking for different ways to solve the problems and issues that you are facing.

Let the learning, unlearning cycle begin.



Srihari Udugani

Knowledge Made Simple and Structured, Decisions Made Clear. Happy success!