Martin Karlsson / prog.re

Notes to self


How to read a programming tutorial

First pass

In the first pass you skim. The goal is to determine if the tutorial is really worth your time, so what you are looking for is:

Second pass

Now that you have decided that the tutorial probably is not a complete waste of time, you should read the whole thing again from start to finish. The goal of this pass is to get the key concepts of what you are about to learn. Notice:

Read all the code and try to follow along, but don’t worry too much if you don’t understand everything

Third pass

The third (and final) pass is all about the code. Type out all the code in the tutorial on your own computer and compile it/run it as much as you can. Don’t copy/paste code, this will teach you nothing. Change things. Notice what changes you can do that matters. If the tutorial only shows REPL based interactions, try to do the same thing in a text file. If you come across code that doesn’t run or compiles on your machine, try to figure out if the code is valid or if your machine is not set up correctly. Code in tutorials very often have errors

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Get in touch: martin [at] prog.re