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The power of reading documentation

This is a brief discussion about why you should read documentations instead of watching YouTube videos.


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Rohit Purkait

2 years ago | 3 min read

The beginning of most of the self-taught developers usually starts after watching a coding YouTube video (this happened in my case). As you guys might know that YouTube gives some weird recommendations sometime which is completely opposite to the type of content that you watch daily. So, just like that a video of How to make a website using HTML and CSS came in my recommendation. Out of curiosity and the amazing thumbnail I immediately clicked on that and thus began my journey in the Developer community.

Now, in my initial phase I used to watch YouTube videos and code along with it and used to feel very happy with the things that I made but after sometime the imposter syndrome creeped into my mind and I started feeling that maybe I am wasting my time because all I am doing is just copying someone else so, there is no sense of uniqueness about it. This disturbing thought lingered into my mind for a while until I decided to make my own projects. Since, in the beginning I started as a FrontEnd Developer so, naturally I came across FrontEnd Mentor (A website to test you FrontEnd coding skills by making websites posted by the admins). Now, during this journey of making a website whose video is not there on YouTube made me realise that my concept was not clear at all. I didn't understand the basics of CSS positioning, Proper usage of HTML tags, adding custom functions with JS, etc. This made me frustrated with everything because I couldn't find the ready made solution of each and every website on YouTube but luckily one day I came across a random post on Instagram where the content creator suggested to read the documentation of the programming languages.

With no other options in my mind I went straight ahead to MDN docs to learn about HTML, CSS and JS. But after reading for an hour I felt exhausted and thought that this developer thing is not for me. But today I feel very proud of me because I didn't give up. After 1.5 months of reading the documentation almost everyday and trying things along with it, slowly everything started to make sense. I began to understand which piece of code does what and along the way I understood the power of reading a documentation.

Yes, I do believe that reading a documentation and understanding everything at one go is a superpower indeed. Because the problems with YouTube videos are that everything is ready made and in most of the cases you don't need to think much while creating stuffs because all you are doing is just copying the code someone else is writing without understanding the concepts behind it. When trying to make a unique project you will not always find the solution you are looking for and if you are not in the habit of reading a documentation then the journey will become a lot harder. Through this post I am not at all suggesting anyone to stop learning from YouTube because its really one of the best learning platform out there and I learn a lot of things from YouTube even today. But I am suggesting that if you want to become good at coding then get in the habit of reading documentations and try out things on your own. Once, you get the hang of it, you will understand the power of reading a documentation.

This was just a overview about the necessity of reading a documentation. In my next post I will write about the nitty gritty stuffs about how to read documentation in a proper way.

If you like my post then make sure to leave a like and comment with your feedbacks.

Here is my [Github](https://github.com/codeswithroh) if you want to check out my projects.

Happy Coding

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Rohit Purkait

Trying to live a simple life.


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