How do I read documentation effectively?

Question

How do I read documentation effectively?

Answer

Some tips for reading technical documentation (focusing on JavaScript documentation) effectively:

  • Review terms that are unfamiliar - with JS documentation these may be JavaScript keywords like object, function, method, etc.
  • Use multiple sources! Main sources for JS concepts/reference/help include MDN, stackoverflow, and numerous tutorial sites.
  • Read the overview of the concept in question.
  • Make sure the source is up-to-date and/or check elsewhere to verify information.
  • Skim the documentation for specific concepts/keywords that are of interest to you - check out the examples and syntax associated with those keywords.
  • Make note to come back to the documentation for a concept’s associated keywords you may not be familiar with (and may not have time for at the moment).
  • If you have time/want to understand the concept more in-depth, read the entire document for the concept and check out any tutorials linked for the concept.

For a deeper dive into pro tips on how to use developer documentation, check out this resource:

Happy coding!

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Hey, I google and do outside research which is very essential for programmers. However, I have an issue of forgetting skills I don’t use very often! Does anyone have any tips regarding being able to remember skills other than using cheat sheets? Thanks!

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I’m currently doing the web developer track,just stated
document the things you learn , in cheatsheet format
in apps like notion or one note , its easy to refer back this way .
this is only for things that you use very often like language syntax and concepts or solutions to issues you faced, you don’t need to document everything.

To be quick, there’s no way to remember all the things you learned over the past lessons. It’s nearly impossible and I say nearly because I have done the essentials 3 times in the 7 years I study programming because there were times where I would not code for months and I thought I forgot most of the things, which I didn’t btw, and reviewing them again reinforced the previous knowledge and eventually became permanent. But that takes time and I think it’s a waste of time. Even the best programmers forget things that might seem impossible to forget. Either you forget because you don’t use something very often, that is the case most of the times, or you just simply forget. I recommend reading ‘A Mind for numbers’ by Barbara Oakley. It’s a life changer. It taught me how to retain knowledge but most importantly how to learn what I want to learn.

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I use Anki to remember syntax, but any Spaced Repetition Software (SRS) would do.

I will admit that it’s a lot of upfront work to create the flashcards and get in the daily habit of reviewing them, but it seems to save a lot of time downstream by not having to constantly stop to Google things I should have remembered. It’s been working well for me and I think the time investment is worth it.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the article that originally convinced me to try it out: Janki Method — Using SRS to Improve Programming | Jack Kinsella

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Hi, @dev8120908313

I agree with @poursaitides that “there’s no way to remember all the things you learned over the past lessons.”
What I do is, create a structure at OneNote with key-points to return to it.
Because I type with my own words and use some screenshots, all these together help me understand a little better.

I’m going to try reflecting back what you’re saying and I wanted to let you know there’s a technical problem in “For a deeper dive into pro tips on how to use developer documentation, check out this resource:” because I don’t see a link to an additional resource.

  • I think I should make sure I understand everything I read in documentation instead of moving on if I see something I don’t understand or guessing
  • Use multiple sources
  • Read the description
  • Check if the documentation is up to date
  • Command f to relevant keywords
  • If I have time and interest I should read the entire documentation and check out any tutorials in order to understand the concept fully
  • If I come across any keywords that aren’t immediately relevant to my question, I should write them down and look them up later when I have a chance.