Reading Source Code

March 13, 2019

Spent yesterday and today reading through the source code for this app. Why?

  1. Most of your time will be spend reading, not writing
  2. Simulates working at a company or open source project
  3. Fastest way to learn
  4. Reading makes you a better writer (just like English)
  5. Learn how to ignore large parts of a codebase and get a piece-by-piece understanding

Given that I'm going to end up doing so as professional developer, it makes sense why Gordon has reading source code as the first skillset to develop (after the basics).

I spent most of my time yesterday encountering unfamiliar syntax from various frameworks and looking up documentation on Google to figure out what they were all about.

Seeing Gordon's approach to reading source code revealed how inefficient this is at this phase. It's better to just make a note of unfamiliar concepts and revisit them later once I have a decent understanding of the overall app.

It turns out that if you delete base.js, the app works fine, so I wasted a ton of time yesterday trying to understand code that had no relevance to the app's functionality.

Today I spent time doing a quick read-through of the code that actually had relevance to app features. And then used the debugger to get a deeper understanding of how specific features worked.

Overall, I feel much more comfortable in my ability to tackle the rest of the features, and will continue digging deeper tomorrow!

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