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Cover image for Reading helped me become a better developer

Reading helped me become a better developer

jenkens profile image Jen Kennedy ・2 min read

Since I was younger I've always loved reading. I was able to explore new places and learn so many new things without having to experience these things myself. I'm convinced my love of reading has helped me level up as a developer. Here are my three favorite sources to read from.

Documentation

I'd like to think we all read the documentation, but let's be honest sometimes Stack Overflow can be simpler and faster when we are looking for the answer. Over the years I've started reading more and more documentation and I feel like my grasp on certain topics has increased. I really enjoy reading the documentation, especially when I first start learning a new technology since they tend to have a great 'Getting Started' section that isn't too robust or complicated. In recent times there's been a big push to make good readable documentation. It's also a great place to make your first open source pull request. Documentation is great because it tends to get updated as the technology changes while other resources can be out of date. We can often save ourselves a lot of time and futures headaches by reading documentation or other resources instead of finding the first answer that solves the problem on Stack Overflow.

Newsletters

I seem to get most of my information through newsletters these days. I love them because I just sign up once and interesting resources come right to me. I don't have to put any work in and because these newsletters come weekly there's always a lot of recent, relevant information. We can't always be looking out for all the new technology emerging so newsletters help me stay up to date. Any time there's a new exciting technology I can at least hear the name and know it's purpose or advantages. This helps reduce my imposter syndrome because I don't feel as overwhelmed by all the new technology. Newsletters tend to be shorter and have a higher density of information.

Some of my favorite newsletters:
Cassidy Williams
Alex Kallaway
Veni Kunche
Do you have a favorite newsletter?

Articles

Last but definitely not least is articles. I personally love articles. While newsletters help sift through all the information out there, articles are what makes newsletters so useful. A lot of my learning is done through articles. Because everyone has a different experience learning I find articles helpful after struggling with the documentation. They can be especially helpful for us beginners since they tend to break things down one step further and really get to the why behind some of the concepts.

Before I started programming I had no idea how much reading was involved. I thought you were taught everything in classes and didn't have to do so much extra research. I enjoy reading on my commute because it gets me excited to start the day. As soon as I sit down at my computer I'm ready to work!

Discussion (6)

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boogielovepeace profile image
Boogie

How about reading someone else's code? I learned a lot when the company I work for introduced code reviews. Just by reading my co-workers' code and arguing if their solution to the problem is the best.

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jenkens profile image
Jen Kennedy Author

When I first thought about writing this article other people's code was one of the first things I thought of. I can't believe I forgot it in the actual article >.< Other people's code is a great way to level up!

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thom4s profile image
Thomas

And books?

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jenkens profile image
Jen Kennedy Author

I haven't tried to read a lot of programming books. I tried to read a Python one when I was just starting out but stopped when I couldn't tell if something was a space or not. I have a friend that loves reading programming books so it probably works well for some!

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thom4s profile image
Thomas

I'm reading some Tech books only now. Never did before. I think it's à very good way To go deep into a subject (prog. language, design...). Deeper than reading an article...
Both are useful thaugh.
Great post by the way :)

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kudo28 profile image
Nguyen Vo Huy

Books are great resources for building foundations. If you want to dive deeply into the topic, you should find books and enjoy.