Mining for Knowledge, Understanding, and Best Practices

A Five-Step Process to Organize your Skills


Sometimes what matters is not what you know but how fast you can retrieve what you need to know at short notice.

This short article shows you how to mine for knowledge, understanding, and best practices using a personal repository instead of keeping everything in browser bookmarks.

Step 1 — Build a Foundation

Set up a personal repository in GitHub that will act as a store of knowledge. Follow these instructions to build your foundation.

Step 2 — Define Your Skills

Write a list of all the skills that you have. For example, for a business analyst, some of those skills are:

  • Requirements gathering
  • Resource Negotiation
  • Effective Communication
  • Email writing best practices
  • Presenting

Step 3 — Understand Markdown Language

Familiarize yourself with markdown language using this cheat sheet.

Step 4 — Create a File for each Skill

It’s best to start with a notes folder containing markdown files for your skills. I prefer to begin this way and add subdirectories as and when required.

Click the Add file button:

Next, type the word “notes” for the directory (as I already have), followed by a forward slash, then the name of your first markdown file with the extension “.md”:

Next, copy and paste this template (available also at this link) into your new file:

# [Skill Name]## Best Practices[Add best practices notes here]## Useful Links### Cheatsheets
- []()
- []()
### Articles
- []()
- []()
### Youtube
- []()
- []()
### Pluralsight/Lynda/LinkedIn Learning Courses
- []()
- []()
### Books to read
- []()
- []()
### Stackoverflow
- []()
- []()

Replace [Skill Name] with the name of your skill.

At the bottom, click the Commit changes button — you now have a template file ready for adding links!

You should see the following:

Step 5 — Mine for Content

Use the headers provided in the markdown template to guide your search for knowledge and best practice information:

  • Cheatsheets
  • Articles
  • Youtube
  • Pluralsight/Lynda/LinkedIn Learning Courses
  • Books to read
  • Stackoverflow

Each time you come across something useful, add the link to your skill markdown language file instead of bookmarking it. Provide the URL inside the round brackets and a title inside the square brackets.

For example:

- [Sprint Retrospective: A Complete Guide With Best Practices](

Click the Preview tab:

You should see this:

You can also conveniently provide links from your personal repository summary page to each of the skill markdown pages. Take a look at my example to see how that’s done.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and don’t forget to subscribe. 👍

George is a software engineer, author, blogger, and tech enthusiast who believes in helping others to make us happier and healthier.