If you want – or need – to learn Rainbird, there are dozens of different ways you can do it. The Rainbird University has numerous resources, from downloadable versions of face-to-face training, to a comprehensive User Guide, to a whole bank of Learning Bolts, each designed to teach you how to use a particular Rainbird functionality. Of course, you can come to 2 days of classroom training and get to grips with the basics. You’ll leave the room with two fully functioning knowledge maps and a brain bursting with Rainbird best practice – but then what?
Block out time in your diary to use the platform every day – though be careful, knowledge authoring can be curiously addictive. Though freehanding it is fun, it could be more beneficial to apply some structure to this time. Pick a topic or technique you’d like to work on or a goal you’d like to achieve, and work towards it.
Track your progress
Duolingo’s facility for tracking progress is a fantastic motivator – it allows you to see what you’ve achieved so far and what’s coming up next. Rainbird is no different. If you’re building a map around a topic which doesn’t fill you with joy (like ‘School’ or ‘Family’), then knowing you’ve got ‘Restaurants’ on the horizon can help spur you onwards. You can find a list of Rainbird features to work through on this.
Use additional resources
Reading Harry Potter (*cough* watching Friends) in Portugese, or Googling the German for ‘belt buckle’ because you just can’t dredge it up isn’t actually cheating; studies have shown that the longer you wait to reinforce learning, the lower your retention rate falls – along with your confidence. The same goes for getting to grips with our in-line modelling language, RBLang: instead of struggling to recall something you know in your heart just isn’t forthcoming, refresh your memory and move on – you’ll recall it faster next time.
Compete with others
A bit of healthy competition is no bad thing. This isn’t about a race to create a Rainbird model as quickly as possible – after all, it’s got to work – but copying those guys in admin who have a star chart to see who goes to the gym most? You could totally do that for hours in the Rainbird platform with the people you went on the training with.
Use the ‘language’
As they say, “use it or lose it”. Every time I try to learn a language (and I’m a serial offender – French at GCSE, a brief dalliance with Italian, and presently, Spanish) I’m crippled by the fear of actually speaking the language out loud to a native speaker. What if I mispronounce the vocab? What if I get the grammar wrong? What if I fail altogether to recall a word? (This one is well-founded – I once forgot that “quattro” means 4, even though I knew that from life, not just my language learning.)
Trying and failing (and, obviously, trying again) is the surest way to develop the problem-solving, logic and reasoning skills needed to engineer successfully in Rainbird. So build, fail, and persevere – until you lose the fear of forgetting number four.