Self-taught developer, this is a term which is mostly used in the programming field to refer to someone who has taken programming skills in any way apart from college. They use any kind of means like attending training, reading books, watching videos, etc. Here the question arises, what to choose between learning by reading books and learning by watching videos? Let's tackle it in this article.
Quick note: This article is not only for self-taught developers but also for college students who are learning new things after studies or revising their courses.
From the Twitter poll I made, many like studying by watching videos than reading books
Oreste Abizera 🇷🇼@abizeraorestepoll result: more like studying by watching videos twitter.com/AbizeraOreste/…11:53 AM - 19 Apr 2021Oreste Abizera 🇷🇼 @AbizeraOreste#DEVCommunity #SoftwareEngineer #coders #100DaysOfCode When studying a new concept do you find it easy to study by
I'm going to pass through some merits and demerits of both techniques and this will help you to decide which one can work for you.
Merits of Learning By Videos
Engages more senses (audio) and adds motion
Learning by videos engages more sense than learning by books. When you want to learn by hearing the sound, that's okay go ahead and if you want to read the words the instructor is saying in the video, no worries turn on subtitles. This flexibility of learning by videos is a great advantage.
Video how-to’s stronger than photos or illustrations – great for physical skills
When it comes to learning how to do something, I prefer the usage of videos. Let's take an example that I'm learning to code (I'm a beginner) and I want to write a program that will sum up two numbers. If I choose a book I can just go there and copy the code and paste it in my IDE and I'm not sure that I will get well what the code means. I prefer taking a video and seeing the instructor coding from the start to the end of the program. I will see the most common errors he/she will face and how they will be solved. I will realise every change of the program after every change in code instead of just going and grabbing the final working code without knowing what every line does. Simply that's why I will go for videos on this scenario.
Feels more conversational
When watching videos while learning, you feel like you are having a conversation with your instructor. This helps you to not get bored by the course although you may also get bored like if the course is very big or not properly understood.
Merits of Learning By Books
Not tied to a computer or electronic device
This is one of the most important points about learning by books, "you are not tied to an electronic device". This is the fact that when you don't have access to computers or other electronic devices at a moment, you can still sharpen your skills while learning by reading the books. I know many people are not good fans of reading but it's just something that you have to practice because it might help you one time.
We can search e-book
Storing 1000+ eBooks/GB compared to 23 minutes of HD video/GB is favourable to people who don't have devices with large storage. Books take small space on the memory. When you will need to store a lot of information and have a small space, I would recommend using books.
Learning By Books drawbacks
Color Illustrations/pictures are usually limited
In many hard books, you will find only black and white pictures and Illustrations. This can lead to bad transaction of message from the book to the readers. This may even discourage someone from continuing to read the book's content even if it may contain useful information.
Harder to learn a practical course
While learning by books, this issue is one of the most issues faced by many people. When learning a practical course using books it is not easy to identify how the book writer wanted something to be done. You can see the result but you will not realize the steps where he/she reached and stop a bit before continuing. You won't know the errors he faced when making practice and how he solved them and when you meet them it will give you much headache. This occurs because mainly in the books, they show only the working part.
3. Consume a lot of time
There are millions of books in the libraries and online stores like Amazon. A lot of them contains above 150 pages. It is too hard to read more than 4 or 5 books. This is hard because it takes a lot of time to read a book and finish it. When you will have to read a lot of them, you will be forced to read them fast hence losing some important key points in the book.
Learning By Videos drawbacks
Voice or manner of speaking can be distracting
It always occurs that the voice or manner of teaching of an instructor can distract you. For example, if you are watching a course and the instructor's voice is very low then learning that course becomes more difficult. Another example is when an instructor is saying many ehm,um,... This may also distract you and discourage you to learn the course.
Can’t jump right to the area you need
Here I don't mean to say that you can't skip some parts of the video or jump to a given minute and seconds. What I mean is that if I know the topic I want to study in that video, there is no way I can force the video to jump to the topic I want. Considering the example I talked about above on the merits of Learning by books, when I have a Callback functions topic and I have a video, there is no way I can jump to my topic when I don't know the minute where it is. This is a big drawback of learning by videos.
Large storage requirements
As technology is increasing, videos are also being developed and qualities are developing. Improvement of qualities goes with an increase in storage. Videos with high qualities like 1080p, 4k,... takes more space on the memory which may be a big hindrance to some people who can't afford to buy devices with large storage. This will limit them to keep a lot of videos on their devices.
In recent years, videos are developing at a high rate whereby now we have technologies like video conferencing where people can talk to each other live. Books also remain as one of the major ways to store information and learn whether you have an electronic device or not.
When deciding a way of learning between these two, I recommend that you must try them and choose the one that works best for you.
opinions of Twitter users:
Thanks for reading this article until this line. If you prefer, you can let me know what you think about this topic and which one you like among those two learning techniques. I hope you liked it, feel free to share it. You can find me anytime on Twitter and Instagram. See you in the next article!😍😍