Or “Why are video tutorials typed out live and not pre-written?” Perhaps this is obvious, but I feel that I needed to hear it sooner, so I should probably cover it. If you’ve watched any video tutorials on coding, you’ve had to watch someone type out the code as they explain it. Even if it involves lots of typos and retyping, somehow this makes more sense and feels better to watch than having everything written beforehand.
Gradually I have realized that if I merely copy and paste code from an example or tutorial, I don’t actually learn how to use it off the top of my head. So the best way to use any tutorial is to type it out yourself. If you don’t actually go through the experience of using it, you probably won’t learn it completely by heart.
Even though you didn’t do the typing yourself, you got to see and feel what it would look like if you did. This is why watching someone go through the experience of it helps learn it. Watching someone do anything helps your subconscious pick up on a lot of details that can’t be put into words.
I don’t know if I’ll ever go the route of video tutorials, but I plan on writing my articles with lots of explanations in between code snippets, and comments within it whenever necessary. I’ve spent more time in my life working and communicating with computers than with people, so anything I write is more like code.
When I write, re-read my articles numerous times and fix anything I stumble over, as if those moments are a bug in the code. Many words have multiple meanings depending on context, and inserting a simple word like ‘that’ or ‘this’ can make it obvious what a word means.
It’s too easy to avoid typing when copy paste is such a natural habit. Gradually I’ve realized that often it’s more time consuming to find the code I want to copy than to just type it out from scratch. But that’s not as easy to do unless you do it more often. Avoid it too much and you avoid it even more.
Now I try to follow the guideline: always, always, always reuse everything, except when you can’t.