How to read a book on Computer Programming Language

Java books

Learning of a computer programming language is a slow process, so don’t rush through it.

Computer programming books are usually thick and boring to read. And they can’t be read like fiction books. It takes time to cover these books cover to cover.

Here are some points which I follow when reading a book on computer programming language for the purpose of learning a new programming language, and I thought I should share it here if it could benefit others as well:

You Don’t Need To Read All Of It

One thing which I have observed in almost all the computer programming books is that they cover advance topics which a new learner doesn’t need to learn. They are simply impossible to understand at a beginner level. This advanced info is only needed when you have already practiced your computer language skills on real programs.

This means, you don’t need to read all of the book. I would say reading first half of these books is more than enough, and rest half can be ignored for a later time

Practice As You Go

A computer programming book can’t be read like a fiction book. These books come with examples and exercises. It is important that you take your time to actually code them and understand how they work. This will slow down your reading, but there is no fast way to learn a computer programming language, so take your time and practice as the author wants you to.

Sleep When Feel Sleepy

Computer programming books will make you sleepy very often. At such occasions don’t force yourself to keep reading and practicing. Give your brain a break. Take a nap, do something else, and then come back to where you had left. If you’ll force yourself to continue when your brain is asking for a break, you won’t learn it properly.

It Takes Time To Learn Programming

Computer programming is not quick to learn, it takes time. While practicing along with the book, there will be many things which won’t be clear to you and sometime it’ll be frustrating. Just know that you are not alone in your frustration and this is normal, whether learning the programming language or whether practicing it as a professional with many years of experience. Take your time, don’t rush. If something is not clear, revise it and try to understand why it is not working. If it makes you sleepy or dizzy, take a break.

Don’t Continue Unless You Understand

One of the biggest mistakes many people make, they keep flipping pages without understanding the concepts they have just read, or exercises they have just completed. There is a mental rush to complete the book. This however doesn’t help with learning of the language, and wastes more time, since reader has to come back to these sections of the book later anyways to clear these concepts. So if you are stuck at some point, stop and try to get it cleared. Maybe ask someone, or search online. Just don’t move ahead unless you are clear on what you have just read or practiced.


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