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How To Become Like Larry

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Hi Larry,


Hope your having a good day today as you read this message. I just want to get some advice from you personally.

My problem is I really would like to be a good programmer like you larry. But I think that cannot be accomplished easily. I just wanna know what are your strategies when your just starting out as a developer. How many hours you read a book in PHP js or mysql? and how do you know if its time to move in a diff topic like ex. procedural to object oriented. Coz I think I'm having a bad habit of reading a book like, after I read a single book i'll read another book right away then I tend to forget what i've learned in the previous book. So what i usually do is I will try go back to the previous book just to refresh what i've learned. And i'm not sure if I'm doin the correct way to learn. I'm really amazed on you larry bec you know not only 1 programming language. So I just wanna know your strategies on learning. I'm very sorry for my english by the way, and I know your a super busy person. I will really appreciate your reply Larry. And I hope you understand my point. Thank you so much in advance.





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Hey Jan,


Thanks for the question and for the nice words! There's really no "X hours" that apply here, as every person is different. But the "how" is really very simple and reliable across the board:


1. Find a resource to learn from (e.g., my books!).

2. Take notes as you read.

3. Try. Try. Try. 


It's a known thing about the mind that you'll learn better if you take notes, even if you don't ever refer to them. Not just highlight, but actually write down key thoughts somewhere. And if you refer to them later, all the better.


But, no matter how much you read--either in time or number of books, you'll only actually get the ideas to stick by doing. 


So, I'd read a book, do a couple of sites that use what was taught in that book, and then move onto another book. 

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  • 1 year later...


I think more important than reading is browsing.  Look through whole books just turning pages, and indexing things in your mind that you think would be helpful.  Next decide what you want to code.  Ruff out your code in comments.  Fill it out with more and more detail until you can turn your comments into code.  Go through your mental index of the topics you looked at and see if any apply to what you want to do.  If there are any read them, if not google for them.  Implement the simplest thing you can, and the important part is to make sure it works.  Then improve it.  Does it do everything you need?, Yes -- look to see if it can be simplified, or optimized, or turned into a function or method.  No -- Add the features your missing.  After about 20 revisions you should have some code you can be proud of.


After it works the way you think it should, try to break it with bad input, bad parameters, and see what happens.  You don't want to bleed error messages that give away information to the public, but you do want to find what breaks your code, then add more code to either make it fail gracefully, or go to some failsafe mode.


Always try to work with small chucks that you can test and verify before moving forward.


Thats my thoughts.

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