Learning The Slow Way

Many years ago I imagined that I wanted a career in coding or development, either games or websites. I started learning some HTML and CSS and then I moved onto learning PHP. One of the books I picked up described how to learn coding slowly, and it basically involved copying every single line of code manually from the book. Boy, it really was slow! But the benefit of following a method like this is that we all make mistakes, and when we become familiar with making typing errors in something like programming code or markup language, we also become more familiar with debugging and checking our code by sight.

Going slowly doesn’t mean you should stop reaching

These days there are many much fancier methods of learning how to code, such as Codecademy and DataCamp, which I have happily put down money for and got a great deal out of. But I always think back fondly to the days when I was trying (and failing) to discipline myself to learn the slow way from a book. Even though I didn’t finish studying (it was but one of many unfinished projects I would begin in my life), it did instill in me a good eye for detail and spotting typographical errors easily.

I had almost forgotten another source of my fondness for learning the slow way, by bashing out repetitive strings of characters one by one, over and over. In college I took a touch typing course! Another one of those things where you have to practice incredibly dull drills, over and over, until the mistakes start disappearing. I really didn’t like doing that, but I have been reaping the benefits ever since, even right now as I am typing up this post.

So if you don’t give a damn about coding, maybe give a damn about touch-typing, and learn something the slow way today (or in a few months, it IS the slow way after all!).

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