I have been trying to teach myself what I call "universal skills" or "transferable skills" for the last several years. For example, I stumbled upon VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) in a past life because I was manipulation ( a lot of) data in excel files. Each file and each row could mean millions of dollars, so I learned how to “trust myself” by writing excel macros to triple check sum totals and proactively seek out errors before I communicated with the client that their data files were production ready.
I felt that I wanted to maintain this skill a bit and also expand upon it, so I am dabbling in Ruby-on-Rails. Here are two of my experiments that are really designed as forced learning exercises instead of “real” applications.