Have you ever read documentation or studied computer science topics that may need a visualization to better grasp certain concepts? Maybe the amount of information is overwhelming and sometimes you feel need someone to explain those concepts in a more digestible form? I know I did while getting my Software Development degree and luckily there is this wonderful online tool that could visualize anything I possibly needed and still reference today.
YouTube to the Rescue!
YouTube has solidified concepts for me and allowed me to understand technical documentation more clearly and it's often in my learning process!
My Learning process usually flows like this:
- Reading official documentation when trying to learn and understand a new language or concept.
- Find videos on YouTube for pieces that I feel need more clarification and know a visualization will help understand the topic more clearly.
- Testing my knowledge in an IDE of my choice, usually in the form of a small project or coding exercise.
- If I'm truly stuck on a problem, Google and Stack Overflow it is 🧑💻
Below are some great examples of resources I utilized that helped me understand some complicated concepts and even clarified some of the technical documentation for me. I'd also like to mention that I am not affiliated with any of these channels and I'm just recommending them as they have helped me in my software developer journey 😊
Example 1. Kotlin Coroutines
In Android Development, Kotlin is King, and often you'll need to perform asynchronous programming to prevent blocking of the Main UI Thread of an application. Kotlin Coroutines is one of the ways this is achieved. The Kotlin documentation and Android Documentation for Jetpack Compose are well written, but this was a topic that I felt a visualization could help in the case of side effects when using coroutines and the overall lifecycle scope of coroutines.
A major resource I've used for the explanation of certain Android development concepts is Phillip Lackner and his series on Coroutines. Each video is under 10 minutes long and they focus on one aspect of coroutines at a time with in depth visualizations.
Example 2. Data Structures and Algorithms in Java
Data Structures and Algorithms often give developers anxiety (like myself) because of the potential white board interviews that you'll most likely encounter during a job search. If you're like me, I honestly enjoy building projects over grinding LeetCode to always practice these concepts. I used one YouTube resource that helped ease some of the anxiety when it came to learning the basics of data structures and some algorithms, and that resource was Bro Code.
The content is easily digestible, the explanation for each data structure and algorithm could be understood by a non-computer science student and the visualizations drove the concepts home!
Sometimes we learn better through visuals and YouTube content can absolutely provide that supplemental material that could take you from vaguely understanding a topic, to feeling like you can conquer that realm of development. It has absolutely helped me to improve as a developer because I can go deeper into subjects with someone who knows a whole lot more than me through their videos.
Next time you want to go deeper into a subject, give YouTube a try, and soon you'll be saying...
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