• Tim Buchalka

Books or Video Courses to Learn Programming: Which One Is Better?

Is it better to learn to program using a book like this or a video course? Let’s discuss that today.


A book or video course; which is the better way to become a programmer?


Programming the Z-80 is actually one of the first books that I ever bought on programming. 600 pages of how to program a CPU because the Z80 is a CPU that was heavily in use in the 1980s in computers like the MicroBee, the Amstrad CPC 464, the ZX spectrum. Now, those computers may mean absolutely nothing to you but the point was back in the 1980’s, we didn’t have video courses so the choice for me was easier. I had to either use a book or just figure things out on my own.


It was actually quite hard where I lived, to try and actually get books because I lived in a country town so I had to order books from The Big Smoke and wait for it to get there. I had no way to actually preview the book to see whether it was going to be any good, so I really had a hard slog and this book has 600 pages. If you spend a bit of time and have a look at that you would see that it’s very very hard to get into. This is the point I wanna make about books, it’s very important that if you are going down the book route, to preview it.


These days it’s a lot easier. You can go to Amazon, you can look at preview chapters but more importantly you can check out the reviews. I would certainly recommend you do that for any book you’re going to buy. One of the biggest problems you’ll find with books is they’re out of date. They get out of date very quickly, especially a physical book, because you might find that the author will release a new update every few years, but sooner or later, its going to be out of date and you’ll find that you’re looking at material that is no longer relevant in today’s society. So for that reason, moving over to video courses, if you’ve got the right course, the course is updated on a regular basis, video training I think is just so much better. It’s so much easy to access, it’s updated, if the instructor actually has taken the time to do it.


I think personally it’s a better medium seeing a programmer type something on the screen and being able to follow along is more interactive and I think it’s easy to absorb the content. Again, I know I’m a bit biased here because I’m a publisher of video courses but I’ve also come from the other approach where I actually started off with books. These days, I’d suggest that in general the best approach is to pick a video course, but there may be that if you find the video course hasn’t got everything you want, then consider getting an E-book or a physical book just to supplement that material. But again be sure to check out the reviews and make sure the content is still relevant for whatever you’re trying to learn.


In terms of video courses, do the same thing there as well. Make sure you check out student reviews, good ones and also bad ones, very important to read through those and see what other students have thought about it just to make sure that it’s the type of course that you’re gonna resonate with. So to answer today’s question, I think video courses are the way to go.

I hope that helped, if you’ve got any question, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

© 2019 Tim Buchalka