Originally Posted by Airblader
Despite all that, people still manage to become great developers. I just think it could just be made easier for them.
Yeah, they could learn it as I did: Without tutorials. Just reference manuals.
I'm convinced that the ability to read reference manuals is what allows a programmer to learn to do the right thing.
Tutorials only teach what the author thinks is WORTH writing about.
Reference manuals lay it all out, often without saying which is the better way.
So you try all the ways and come up with what you think is best. You aren't always right, but if you have any talent at all for programming, you'll be right more often than not.
To illustrate, my introduction to the C language went like this:
Small consulting company. 5 developers plus the boss (who used to program, but didn't much any more). Boss comes in one day and plops a copy of the original K&R C manual on our desks (on 3 of us...other 2 were on other projects) and says "We're going to write a compiler for this language."
None of use had ever coded in C. Only one of us (not me!) had ever worked on a compiler (well, plus the boss, but he'd only worked on a Fortran compiler). So we wrote a C compiler. On a 64KB Zilog Z-80 machine.
A three pass compiler: one of us wrote the preprocessor, one the parser/code tree generator, one the machine code generator and library (me). And it worked. And produced the second fastest code on that architecture at that time. We never got a chance to go back and rework it to make it fastest, but that's another story.
Now *THAT* is how to learn a language. I still understand the "guts" and principles of C better than any other language, with one exception that would take longer to explain. And all because we really had only the reference manual to work from, no tutorials.