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Which way of learning as developer do you prefer, video tutorials or reading a book?  RSS feed

 
div tripathi
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Which way of learning as developer do you prefer, video tutorials or reading a book?
 
Jesper de Jong
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I prefer videos and learning hands-on. I rarely have the patience to read a technical book from cover to cover.

Ofcourse, this is purely a personal preference. But I think that in general using a technology yourself, by experimenting and creating small programs, is much more effective than trying to stuff a whole book full of theory in your head before you start working with the technology.
 
John Joe
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I would prefer reading a book
 
Tim Cooke
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I much prefer a book because I like to read up on things while travelling to and from work on the train. If it's on a topic that really intrigues me then I'll complement the effort with some code experimentation on the computer. This is why my office desk looks like this:

 
Hank Ingram
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Finding code and compiling/running it. Then make modifications to it.  That's how I learned PHP, PERL, Java and Groovy.
Learning to code from books is something we did in the 80's. Now I just Google everything. PC Magazine used to have C Source code that you could enter into your PC and compile/run. That was a good way to learn C.
I have used video to learn how to use an IDE....and work on cars. Both are very effective.
 
Pankaj Shet
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Hi Tim,

I looked closely into the image you shared with us.
I see almost all the books you have are really awesome books.
However, I am glad to know how you manage to read all these books from cover to cover, managing office work, and will like to learn the time management skills from you.

Regards,
-Pankaj.
 
Liutauras Vilda
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Pankaj Shet wrote:I am glad to know how you (Tim) manage to read all these books from cover to cover, managing office work, and will like to learn the time management skills from you.

He might treats reading as part of the office work. Some employees being sent regularly to "trainings" to listen some stuff. Here might even books bought by his own money - company should be happy that employees trying to keep themselves up-to-date and motivated to move on and on.
 
Tim Cooke
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Pankaj Shet wrote:I am glad to know how you manage to read all these books

Many hours over many years of train travel.
 
John Joe
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Where to get programming books ? I went to many bookshop but I found that programming books are not many.
 
Tim Cooke
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It varies. Some I buy from Amazon, some direct from the publisher, some I won in various promotions, some of the older ones from book stores before online shopping was a thing.
 
Tim Cooke
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There's some chatter in my local development community of a decent selection of programming and computer science books in one of our local charity stores. I've yet to verify the claim.
 
Carey Brown
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I use books, videos, and online tutorials. I like books because if I'm reading something I might be familiar with my reading speeds up. If I'm reading about a new concept I will slow down and perhaps read more than once to make sure I understand. Hard to do that with video.

Pretty much you have to buy technical books online. Book selections in stores are very thin. We used to have an amazing book store here in Denver called The Tattered Cover. In their hay-day they had an incredible selection of computing books. I used to hemorrhage money every time I went there. Sadly, those days are gone.
 
Hank Ingram
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I work for a university and we have literally tons of programming books in the library. If you live close to a university, it is sometimes possible to get a "library card" you can use to check out books.
We also offer free online classes but you have to be affiliated with the university. Working for a university in any capacity has lots of benefits if you want to learn programming.
 
Paul Clapham
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It depends on what I'm trying to learn. If I'm trying to learn how to use a particular feature of Java (like JMX for example) then something with downloadable code examples is what I'd be looking for. Not a video, in that case. And if the video is showing somebody typing on a keyboard and the screen changing, I don't think I would find that useful. I prefer to go at my own pace and it seems to me that the video forces you to go at its pace without skipping backwards and forwards.

However for high-level overviews I wouldn't object to watching a video. It's still tedious to me, though, because I can read faster than somebody can talk.
 
Les Morgan
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All the video's that I've seen have been too shallow and takes way too long to develop the ideas--they are usually more like an infomercial than anything I want to use for learning. Classes are also not very specific, if I need an intro, then a class is alright. Books are my choice, but I never read them from cover to cover. Usually a book of 800+ pages will yield a few paragraphs of good information, and rarely actual chapters. Online tutorials are also alright, because I can scan through the text and get to the information I am looking for quickly.
 
Dave Tolls
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Same as Les.
Books and a handful of sites, usually the horses mouth ones (Oracle, Hibernate, Spring etc) rather than someone's interpretation of them.
Oh, and the source code of wherever I happen to be working at the time.  There's always something I can pick up from a contract, even if only how not to do something.

I've only ever used video things for fixing physical devices, so I can see how to open whatever device up and see what is involved in whatever fix I need to do...which usually ends up with me thinking "I'll get someone else to do this".
 
Tim Holloway
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Videos are essentially sequential-access mechanisms, whereas book content is much easier to access randomly. Also, I'm a lot less likely to annoy neighbors with a book than with video. That's even before we get into the battery-free dead tree versus ebook debate.

Actually, if you publish video instructions on a website, I'll probably ignore them and look for text content. If there is no text content, I'll go looking for someplace that does have text content.

If you make your video auto-playing, I'll flee the site without waiting to see what other benefits it offers. In extreme cases, I've even been known to shut the entire browser down if that's what it takes to stop the noise.

I don't even like my news and entertainment sites to auto-play without permission and I choose my sources accordingly.
 
Junilu Lacar
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Tim Holloway wrote:I don't even like my news and entertainment sites to auto-play without permission and I choose my sources accordingly.

I hate it when that happens at the most inopportune moments, like when you're trying to read the news while in a boring WebEx meeting and forget to mute yourself. Gahhh. Drives me nuts.
 
Tim Cooke
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I should probably elaborate a little on my reading preferences. I do really like a paper book as I find the time away from the computer to be beneficial for my learning process, but that's not the whole story. There are times when reading stuff online is better for me.

You may have noticed from the picture I posted on Wednesday that I am quite selective over the type of book I buy in print. You'll notice that the majority of those books are on what I'd refer to as 'long lived' topics, by which I mean topics that remain relevant for a long period of time. You'll see books about software design, development techniques, testing techniques, software craftsmanship, programming languages, personal development, personal productivity, platform system tools, enterprise deployment considerations. These topics rarely age quickly so the paper resource proves a good investment as a valuable reference. In contrast I use online resources for things I'd refer to as 'short lived' topics, by which I mean topics that are relevant for a short period of time. You'll see no books on Spring, no books on JSP, no books on JavaScript libraries, no books on jUnit, no books on Google Guava. These are all things that tend to change considerably over short periods of time that a paper book would soon become outdated. In fact, that old Hibernate book (bottom right) became useless almost as soon as I bought it and has spent the majority of its life serving as a monitor stand.

Of course the third category of book in that library is the 'just for fun' category. Stuff unrelated to work and serve as an entertaining mental break just for a laugh. Those are my favourite
 
Liutauras Vilda
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div tripathi, have a cow, your topic has been chosen to publish in our April's journal
 
Franklin Tower
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I learn best with books.  However, I do use videos at times for reinforcement of concepts or if a topic seems confusing.  The best then after grasping the concept is actually then running some code examples and problems given in the books and working through them.  That's when you really know you've got it! 
 
Mishra Saurabh
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Its actually a matter of choice, I personally prefer mixing them both.
I think that the best way to learn something is via diffusion, i.e, taking a class or watching a video. But you should at least prepare yourself to the point of extreme basics via good ol' books, so that what that personnel is teaching you doesn't go over your head.
And I'll end the way I started, ITS YOUR CHOICE
 
Sean Corfield
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I wonder if this is at least partially generational?

When I started to learn about programming, the concept of online video tutorials would have been a wild pipe dream for the future! I was programming in C++ for over two years before the "Gang of Four" patterns book appeared, and when I learned Java there were only the official Sun books.

You learned from a handful of books, the compiler reference manual (if you had access to it), and just plain ol' "trying stuff out".

And that has stuck with me. I don't generally find video -- an inherently linear, continuous format -- a good way to learn. I like a book as a first pass, followed by a book plus an editor/compiler or a REPL. That way I can get an overall grounding in the subject, jumping back and forth as needed to cross-reference concepts, then I can take a hands-on approach, reviewing parts of the book to see how they fit together in the real world.

Yet I know many younger developers who just love videos for learning, and they hardly seem to touch books at all. I have maybe 100 print books at home and I carry nearly 200 ebooks with me everywhere (on my phone, on DropBox and OneDrive).
 
Levi Is Gp
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Hi there,

     One piece of advice I would like to give is to find out just what kind of learner YOU are.  Each of us is wired differently so what works for me may not work for you.  To illustrate this a little, I personally enjoy taking in videos, reading and just doing it as my learning style as I have a "Show me once, let me try the next" style that has helped me find relative metaphors and such to help me understand what I'm looking at.  I enjoy breaking things and fixing them, a lot.

     You can probably google "Learning style test" and find several kinds of sites that can help you evaluate yourself, which is essentially at the core of learning to code - learning to interpret and deal with problems.  Without knowing this, you may have some success but knowing yourself is a big key to taking in new concepts.

Cheers,
GP
 
Mohammed Sardar.
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>> Books is always to good us. The way our brain reacts when reading a technical book is different from listening/watching a technical video.

>> When we watch a video, we feel like a Tutor is with us explaining technical stuff which very good initiative and also practical because everybody can't go to an institution or offer high. At this situation videos helps a lot even for beginners and experts. We can discuss more about videos and ask our doubts in the forums and to our forum friends. This chance is quite less for a book.

>> At the same time advance concepts can be taught by books but not from videos. It's a limitation in video series. Books are ever green friends to every body. So, Start with videos but have book friends at your book shelf for knowledge upgrade.

Sorry for typo or Grammar mistakes.
 
Brian Dady
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Generally, I prefer reading over videos. Depending on the exact topic, I might prefer a physical book over reading a digital book.

Videos can be great learning tools, too, and help to break up your routine (which I think is extremely important when it comes to learning), but not for everything. I usually only watch videos when I can be reasonably sure that they cover a small, specific topic and do so thoroughly. Even then, the video usually follows something I read but couldn't quite grasp.
 
B Vancoullie
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div tripathi wrote:Which way of learning as developer do you prefer, video tutorials or reading a book?


100% books.

In most training videos time is wasted on typing stuff in and when they explain the new concept they read out loud a few lines but that's it.

Reading is much faster than speaking and much more verbose.

I finish reading books, I rarely finish watching a video course.

 
Dana Ucaed
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I enjoys books and video.
 
Lucetta Pryor
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I prefer both and then i practice what i learned
 
Sarah Roker
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Well, I prefer the former than the latter.
 
Marco Behler
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A question for all, especially for the video critics like Les Morgan or Sean:

I have been producing quite a few Java screencasts lately ( www.marcobehler.com ) and would honestly appreciate your real opinion (yup positive or negative - also, feel free to send me a PM and I'll give you a temporary free account to watch all videos)

Thanks!
Marco
 
B Vancoullie
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Marco Behler wrote:A question for all, especially for the video critics like Les Morgan or Sean:

I have been producing quite a few Java screencasts lately ( www.marcobehler.com ) and would honestly appreciate your real opinion (yup positive or negative - also, feel free to send me a PM and I'll give you a temporary free account to watch all videos)

Thanks!
Marco


Hi Marco,

I'm one of the critics, I find that video courses are too much showing how they 'type' instead of structurally explaining what it's all about, what the concepts are. One big offender in this all is the hugely popular Tim Buchalka on udemy - with his 100.000 students. He's a master in explaining a concept in 4 spoken lines in 30 seconds and then see him go on for 1 hour of video content of him typing while you try to understand what the concept he's explaining is all about.

Good books are all about using enough sentences to explain the concept clear and complete, it's easy to re-read a page when they go deep, but how many people are going to rewind these 30 seconds to hear the few lines again that have no depth and are more like a wikipedia definition?

I just checked out your site. Eugh, okay, going to be honest here, this is quite interesting! Do you have discount code :-) LOL

Cheers
 
Marco Behler
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Hi B,
glad you like them! Feel free to hit me up with suggestions, questions, anything really and I'll put it in my backlogs when producing new videos.


I'll send you a PM with a discount code later on today, as soon as my billing system lets me login and create one for you (they are having problems atm).

 
Scott Shipp
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Both and! Videos and books. Each has things it can give you that the other can't
 
Jan de Boer
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Books!

But most off all I think everybody should learn the way they like it. At my present job we have dojo we have a web site with videos we have hands on training. But if I asked my manager if I can buy a book and use company budget for that.., the reaction is like, that is old fashioned or something. Everybody learns his own way. Teachers know that.
 
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