We can observe a real IT boom today and thus educational IT literature. People of different ages and professions start studying computer technologies aiming to tie their lives to this area. The reason for such popularity lies in the fact that it seems very interesting, creative, fast-developing, perspective and well-paid.
Some people attend courses at special training centers. Others have no time and money for this and strive to acquire basic knowledge on their own. In fact, self-education is never superfluous. Even if you work with a tutor, it will not be superfluous to read additional literature especially when it is educational IT literature.
Novice programmers often ask which books on programming it is better to read and how to understand the material better. Experts from https://pro-papers.com outlined some useful tips on when and how to read special educational IT literature. As well as which books to choose depending on a specific programming language.
When Is It Worth Reading Educational IT Literature?
An abundance of courses and video tutorials provoke this question. They allegedly reduce the benefits of reading to nothing, although this is far not the case. A book is quite a voluminous information source intended for thorough studying.
Not only do textbooks provide technical rules and tips but also a bird’s-eye view of certain concepts, ideas and general understanding of a subject. You cannot read a textbook in one evening like fiction.
It often takes days, weeks, and sometimes months to study such sources. But even a prolonged learning period does not guarantee that you will master all the methods and techniques offered by authors. Therefore, it is ineffective to study a large textbook (or even two) at the very beginning of your educational path.
Deciding What You Plan to Study
Firstly, decide what you plan to study. If it is about complex technologies, low-level programming languages, abstract concepts, it makes sense to pay due attention to theory.
For example, if you first program in Java or Python and then switch to something like C language, try to learn it using tutorials, a result will be zero. Absence of knowledge on low-level memory management, pointers, arrays, and lots of other interesting things that you have never met before will not allow you move on.
In this case, you need to take books on programming and read them thoroughly. Sometimes, it is enough to read at least half a textbook to create a simple program. Roughly speaking, you first need to understand certain things in theory and proceed to practice only after this.
Here is another example: if you start studying simple technologies where it is enough to know a few elementary facts to conduct the first experiments, there is no sense in reading a whole book. When studying HTML, it is enough to consider a couple of online tutorials to start experimenting, because you do not need to master complex rules and algorithms to write a few elementary tags. Just collect information on what tags exist and when to use them, and you will form a basis for further work.
The same applies to Python: you may first pass a few fast online courses and then practice consolidating the knowledge gained. In parallel, you can read a basic book that will help you understand incomprehensible points that are not always covered in short video courses and even in long video lectures.
- Are you going to learn something new and not aware of how difficult it is? Try to start with quick courses, articles, and tutorials. Did they not help? Then find programming books for thorough theatrical preparing.
- Are you sure that the technology you want to master is not complex? In this case, a book can be postponed until better times when you acquire some experience. Then it will be much more understandable and useful.
- If you know for sure that material is complicated (a language with complex structures, paradigms, developing for a specific platform, etc.), read a book, but also do not forget about parallel practice.
Best Way to Read Educational IT Literature?
Higher mathematics is often focused on theory. Programming, in contrast, is focused on practice.
Educational IT literature on technologies (programming languages, web development, creating mobile apps) is full of practical examples and tasks, and therefore, you need to conduct experiments. It is the only way to form a solid knowledge base.
Rule 1: Only Practice Will Help You Master New Material
The examples described in a book should be tested right in the reading process. You can also complicate them, invent your own tasks using the material you just studied. This is a good practice if you have no teacher or tutor who can provide some assignments.
Rule 2: Rereading
Educational IT literature is simply designed for this, especially if a particular technology or programming language is new to you and there is no experience with them. It will be difficult to understand all the information set out in a book on the first try.
After the first reading and some practice, go back to theoretical material again. You may notice many details which were imperceptible before.
Rule 3: Five Books Are Not Better Than one Book
It is not worth striving to clog your closet with IT books. Studying much new information, it is hard to start practicing. In order to stay in a comfort zone, we often console ourselves with the fact that we know little and develop an eternal student syndrome. It is about a person who learns something constantly but, in fact, does not do anything with knowledge gained.
It is enough to read one basic book to start working on new technology. Do not ask questions like “I read Lutz on Python. What should I read further?” Better answer the question “How many code lines did I write while reading?”
What can you get from the next book on the same topic if already gained knowledge was not absorbed? Reread the book and try to implement some theoretical postulates in practice.
Do not chase quantity. One course, one book, one tutorial, one video lesson will suffice to write the first code lines. The next thick book is useless without these lines. Approach each new topic attentively and try to derive maximum benefit from each new task or exercise.
We hope that the above tips will help you master the necessary IT areas with educational IT literature and increase your computer literacy without many difficulties.
Petr is a serial tech entrepreneur and the CEO of Apro Software, a machine learning company. Whenever he’s not blogging about technology for itechgyan.com or softwarebattle.com, Petr enjoys playing sports and going to the movies. He’s also deeply interested in mediation, Buddhism and biohacking.