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Author Topic: What's the most optimal time allocation between learning and reading docs?  (Read 2252 times)
Paul Keith
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« on: February 12, 2011, 02:48:15 PM »

Note: This was written while not having read any of the other sections in this sub-forum.

I just want to to get the average of how much people spend time reading programming manuals and how much people spend time actually tinkering with their programs. Even better if this can be separated into Beginner/Intermediate and Advanced.

One thing that has kept me from learning how to draw was that I would have a hard time separating reading how-to books with that of actually drawing. This became worse and worse as I learn more because I also had a bad habit of collecting images on the internet to mimic (not trace) and then I also had to factor in teaching myself how to wield a tablet pen and then it's hard to stick to one program. Photoshop isn't cross-OS and isn't free (and isn't as easy to pirate - at least I can't find a working copy), there are other paid software more optimized for drawing manga, Paint.Net works best for Windows, GIMP is the staple for Linux. Drawing was a category all it's own and I wasn't even scratching the surface on where and how to start. There would be days where my hand would be moving but all I could think of was what was the point. I don't really know if I'm learning from the best sets of tools even though many artists would say it doesn't matter.

For programming I'm thinking of starting with Cream and Sublime Text's documentation - then read up on Programming School - then read up on any other documentation which would take... 4 1/2 hours. Sleep. Wake up. Tinker with the program. Stress relief. Do something else. Then Sleep and re-read. Problem is I don't know if this is the most optimal way of doing things seeing as the time can shift per program.
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mouser
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2011, 03:08:18 PM »

For programmers.. I don't think reading is very important.. It's mostly about coding and learning as you work.  You don't become a good programmer by reading lots of books, you become a good programmer by programming a lot.

Of course that's not to say a couple of well timed books can't make a huge difference.

And, it has nothing to do with the fact that many of us programmers LOVE to read books on programming.
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EĆ³in
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O'Callaghan

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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2011, 05:23:46 PM »

Ooooh I'm not so sure, but then the definitions regrading bad, good and great are probably where we differ. My belif is that you can become an ok to good programmer with pure persistence, but you can't become great without reading books on idioms, mistake, best practices, etc.

But if you are not programming all the time, you'll prob never make it to ok!
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mouser
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« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2011, 05:27:35 PM »

Don't get me wrong -- reading is one of the best things you can do in any field.  Reading good books and articles will make you a better programmer (hell a better person).

Furthermore, they can be extremely useful for coders who are just starting out, to keep them from developing bad habits.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that programming is somewhat similar to playing sports -- the bulk of your skills cannot be gathered from reading instructional books.  You have to get out on the field and play.  Every day.
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