Reading Tech Books

by Zach Briggs

They tend to be awful and you should never feel obligated to read one. Generally they are written in a formal tone with less emphasis on conveying information in a digestible manner and more on making the author sound smart. There are a few that manage to buck this trend, but even then I do not learn enough to change the way I program without additional practice.

I actually do start tech books all the time and put most of them down after dragging myself through 1 or 2 chapters having learned nothing. I have read exactly 2 tech books from cover to cover because I found the narrative riveting. 

The act of reading these still did not teach me anything directly but rather moved some chunks of knowledge from unknown unknown over to known unknown. From POODR, for example, I knew that I didn't know how to apply composition but I at least knew that was a thing that I should pick up. Sitting in bed with the Good Parts didn't teach me a lick of JavaScript but the book instilled in me a respect for it as a real language and inspired me to spend time learning it.

I have used many more tech books than those two to learn programming, but never by actually reading them. I'll write a post on how I approach learning from books some other day. Today, though. Today is going to be for actually writing code rather than writing words.

Because I have code in my fingers that needs to get out.