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Discussion on: Is "fundamentals first" the best approach to learning web development?

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etienneburdet profile image
Etienne Burdet

I am on the "learn to code the way baby learn to talk side". They know nothing about grammar, they don't read the doc and they are the fastest learner you can imagine. Why? Because they learn to make extremely efficient mistakes and thus making extremely good guesses (PAC learning in AI terms).

I think it's very important to start on a project ASAP and start "guessing". It puts you in a situation where you actually need something new. It's very important, because you know "why" and "where" you need that skill/knowledge even before you even know what it is (it actually really wires thing up in your brain). And if you struggle that's even better: you learn what doesn't work, what seems and the emotion only reinforce the learning.

It create those "HAHA" and "I see what you did there" moments that you never get by reading a book on closures before this even go crazy. Trying all sort thisbinding in Meteor.js only to read Scope & Closure is one of my most efficient learning experience.

Do frameworks help for that? Definitely: you can use reactivity and a lot of it's implication without caring about event bubbling for exemple. Framework help you focus on structure rather than technical mundanities. Better: if you "guessed out" one framework, then the error you made along the way, will make you even better at "guessing" the next one and so on.

The only thing is to learn to identify quickly which grey area is slowing you down too much and where your guesses are being infecients.

It's called induction teaching and basically is the way most decent pedagogy is done today.
The old way of learn "all the theory before even doing an exercise" is virtually not used anymore. Not even for maths classes in French schools (if that doesn't say something, then what does?)

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