To your question: How did you learn Maple?

I learned pretty much as you did, through examples. Not so long ago, the descriptive part of the help pages was often unclear to me. This was due to several reasons. In particular, I did not understand or misinterpreted terms used in the descriptions. Take, for example, the term operator. If you've learned it from a simple programming language context (as I did), you most likely won't understand descriptions in a mathematical context or in Maple’s programming language context. There are many more nuances than you might expect. Maple help distinguishes these two contexts by providing definitions (which are mostly mathematical/logical and indicated by a D symbol) and help pages for Maple language elements indicated by a question mark in the Search Result Tab of the help system.

Some tips:

- Look up all terms in a sentence you do not understand and search first in the help system (then in other resources).
- Read slowly and stay focused. This may sound silly but helps to spot important nuances in phrases. Consider that the pages have been written with a mathematical mindset, striving for exactness and reduction to the essential. No fluff and no repetition.
- Do not overlook the “See also” links of a help page. They sometimes provide what you were searching for.
- Ask here if you have difficulties interpreting a description.
- Make yourself familiar with computer algebra specialties like the evaluation of expressions, types, operators, functions, and procedures. If you understand that the sine function in Maple is referred to as an elementary mathematical function but is of (Maple) type procedure, then you are not a newbie anymore.
- Walk through the table of contents to get an overview of what is contained in the help system. You will be amazed at how many things you discover for the first time.
- Be persitent. There will be a moment when the descriptions start making sense.

Quick learning?

Depends on your objectives. I sometimes feel that reaching the bottom is impossible. I would still recommend studying advanced examples and consulting help resources. That's a good mixture of improving your skills and understanding Maple. Maybe ?ProgrammingGuide is good to learn in a structured manner after you got started (which I assume you have).

Have a look also at these: ?StudyGuides, ?Student, ~~?worksheet,help,appsexamples.", ~~?examples,index

Hope this helps