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Books, online tutorials or both?

learning books tutorials

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#1 SaaKalaba


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Posted 04 March 2015 - 01:50 PM

When you set out to learn a new language, do you use books or online tutorials?


I'd like to hear your personal experiences, opinions and pros/cons for each method.

Also I would like to know when / if you choose to learn by book, how many do you read? Every article that I read has a title like "Top 5 'insert_language_here' books" or a "List of must read 'insert_language_here' books". But when you start to read these books, a lot of material is the same. So why waste your time essentially reading the same book twice? How do you get around that?

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#2 BlackRabbit


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Posted 04 March 2015 - 04:08 PM

A book is a good start because it gives you an overall view of the language you are about to learn.


That sets your mind the right way about the language, and makes you know the lang's strenghts and limits beforehand. Also you get to know the "toolkit" so you know what tools you can count on.


A tutorial is good when you know what you have to do, but don't know how to do it in such lang.


So, is preferable to use both.

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#3 jasonalien


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Posted 05 March 2015 - 01:30 AM

I think the content is the important point, it can be video lectures, books, tutorials, forum posts, blog posts, anything... Wherever you can find good content. What I do is, I do an extensive search, browse a lot of materials, take a look at a few chapters and go with the one that I like most. 

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#4 WingedPanther73


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Posted 05 March 2015 - 05:10 AM

I'm a book person. However, the TYPES of books I buy has changed over the years. When I started, I got text books. They have lots of example problems in the back of the book, and lots of guidance on style, etc.


When I wanted to learn C# recently, I got the C# Pocket Reference as my first book. It's about 100 pages the size of a paperback, not a 1000 page tome. I was able to read through that and grasp the essential nature of the language and start writing programs in Visual Studio. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't great, but I could read that book in a day and essentially know what's going on. Then I got C# in a Nutshell. Again, no problems to solve in the book, just a far more detailed reference to the language. That helped with with several concepts that had eluded me (LINQ especially).

I also read the books differently from when I started. When I was first learning C and C++, I would read a chapter, do problems, read a chapter, do problems. Now, I read programming books before going to sleep. I don't use everything in them, I try to absorb concepts and differences, then look things up again when I'm doing actual code, either in a book or online.

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#5 amrosama


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Posted 14 September 2015 - 12:46 AM

I think it totally depends on how you like to learn, if you are not having fun or being amused while you learn you wont learn anything.


I myself like to read a book with good looking cover for several chapters then jump into implementation and go through code (lots of knowledge in reading others code even if not well written) then I jump back to book to revise.


Sometimes, I read the full index of the the book for later.

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#6 Nier


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Posted 15 December 2016 - 02:22 AM

I prefer to use books, I like to give them a read and jump a head a little, but it's good to take in big chunks and text and have it handy whenever you need to jump back in and learn or retry something.


Reading books keeps me free from distraction too, whether I'm reading them as I'm working through it or before bed, it's much easier to read then put down.

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