andy kohler

Using Books To Learn Coding

A sample page from the WPF exercise I worked on.

Coding books are a funny thing because typically when I read I'm either gathering information or escaping. Either way, I'm liable to kick back and relax. But I can't really do that with a book on coding! Beyond basic concepts, it doesn't mean much just to read about code (I'm saying this after reading 75 million articles on Medium, Hacker News and other places over the last 5+ years). So using a coding book effectively means basically reading in front of a computer with the book and coding along.

I got the 4th edition of the Headfirst C# book recently and worked through the first exercise. It was the first WPF I ever made, and the tutorial was nice. It was supposed to take between 15 minutes to an hour but I took a few hours to do it, I guess. It was really an immersive, fun experience.

I have the same modern day screen addiction concentration as anyone else, which is to say, I find it difficult to concentrate and do one thing. It wasn't always that way. It was enjoyable and productive to set some time aside and finish exercise like this WPF. I'm looking to get back to doing more sessions like this.

P.S. Troubleshooting addendum: I actually published this yesterday but the build failed. Tried again this morning and noticed it failed again. Turns out Netlify doesn't like filenames with # symbols (I had a tag that was C#) so I changed it and all was well after that.

Screenshot  of Netlify log showing a failed build.