The Best Way To Learn Programming Online

The Best Way To Learn Programming Online

How to most effectively use online resources to learn programming. In today’s world, it is increasingly easy to access material on programming on the internet. There are tons of courses with video lectures as well as YouTube tutorials labeled something like “Learn Python In Just 5 Hours!” Yet many people (including myself in the past) struggle to learn online.

In today’s world, it is increasingly easy to access material on programming on the internet. There are tons of courses with video lectures as well as YouTube tutorials labeled something like “Learn PythonIn Just 5 Hours!” Yet many people (including myself in the past) struggle to learn online.

After countless courses and programming crash courses, I’ve finally discovered the methods to get the most out of online learning. In the interest of helping others to benefit from what I’ve learned, I wanted to put together an article laying out how best to learn from online tutorials.

A Word of Caution

The first mistake I made was assuming that I could learn a programming language in several hours or through a short course. Even if the videos are well structured and information-dense, your brain simply can’t learn that quickly. Well, at least not all the details; you can get a good understanding of a language or framework in several hours, but you might have to spend more time than the length of the tutorial. At best, you will have a good grasp of the language if the video/class was a decent one but you won’t be fluent quite yet.

The second mistake I made, and the most fatal one is that I followed the videos too closely.

Why You Shouldn’t Follow The Videos

Anyone (who isn’t a natural genius) and has had to memorize something knows that reading alone won’t do the trick. Active recall, or remembering the information without being able to see the answer, is the key to remembering. Likewise, having to recall concepts in programming is the key to remembering them.

It is extremely easy to play a 5-hour long tutorial on Python at 2x speed and simply copy the code being written by the instructor. Yes, you’ll have the same generic to-do app or weather app that they do, but you won’t have the concepts drilled into your brain.

Instead of coding alongside the videos line-by-line, my rule of thumb is to** watch the videos for 10 minutes at a time, then pause it and try to come up with the code that the instructor wrote without looking at it**. In doing this, your brain is making an effort to come up with this new information, making it last much longer.

programming-languages code programming computer-science coding python

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