5 Key Takeaways From Learn How Things Work

Jotted down on 09 January 2022

266 words

This is my takeaway from Get better at programming by learning how things work.

1. You can use something without completely understanding it

You might want to compress an image and bundle your static files on a daily basis without knowing how they work. It is generally better to not reinvent the wheel and just use the existing tools. This creates knowledge gaps and code more prone to bugs.

2. Your bugs point towards those knowledge gaps

It is important to identify when you're facing this problem. If I'm confused about something, there's a high chance that I'm missing some key concept(s).

3. Connect the dots with new facts you learn

You might discover that image compression removes redundant information from digital source which complies with your prebuilt understanding of entropy. As entropy is information ("thank you" = "ty", same meaning less bytes).

4. Asking the computer is a skill

You can achieve great results if you can deconstruct, articulate, get to core of the problem, and run your experiments to find out the answer.

5. Ask yes/no questions

Starting with a yes/no question helps people know you current mental model and it is easier to steer the discussion from there. Otherwise they might explain the things you already know or are irrelevant to the problem you're facing.

To know what you don't know, I believe we need to expand our sources of knowledge intake. You can't know how database indexes work if you don't know what is a database.

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