I actually sort of did exactly that
That's what happens to people who just apply and aren't trained in the field, right?
No! The best training is to be applied: have to deal with solving real world problems, ..and if you want good training on programming then there is so much high quality resources you can locate with quick google (and they are really worthwhile to study,.. if you are into that sort of thing).
Mrs outrun and I used to play computer games against each other on our LAN (Red Alert was one of out favourite, but Duke Nuke 'm, Half Life were a lot of fun too). Whenever there was a new game she would start clicking as a maniac all over the screen and before you know it she would get semi-organised and release endless mayhem on me. Like a piranha.. My survival strategy was to try and find a manual somewhere, or else iterate every key combination and make notes, pre-compute probability tables of optimal strategies when applicable (e.g. in Risk: attack or defend?).. and then slooowly we would even out. I would have my occasional laugh with a special hidden feature, but I could only use it once.
..both methods of learning new games/skills worked really well, but I now know Mrs Outrun was doing applied Reinforcement Learning, and that's the way to go!