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Ways to Learn the Most From Video Reviews

The video reviews can be a challenge.  Often times the pace is WAY too fast, and you need to go back 100 times to see what the instructor did, or other times, the video is 2 hours long, and you don’t really feel like sitting the the whole lecture :).  Here are a few tips for maximizing your learnin’ while watching these videos.

First, download the videos!  The is not the most straightforward process, but since we’re all coders, it shouldn’t be too bad.  I use a great tool called Youtube-dl.  It can be downloaded with Homebrew on the Mac.  Just enter the following command into your terminal. `brew install youtube-dl.`.  From there, navigate in your browser to the video you’d like to download, right-click and choose “copy video url”.  Then go back into your terminal and type in `youtube-dl + The URL of The Video You'd Like To Download`.  Give it a few minutes and you’ve downloaded the video!  (Btw, make sure you are currently in the directory where you’d like the video to download to).  
From there, I like to open the video in VLC.  VLC let’s you watch the video at different speeds, so if you need to speed up or slow down the video, it’s super easy.

Another important tip is to really try and follow the train of thought by the instructor.  Understanding that is one of the keys to programming.  Try to truly understand why the instructor did something a certain way, and how he or she came to that conclusion.  If they didn’t know how to do a certain thing, pay close attention to how they figured it out: What they googled, code they tried, etc.  It’s inspiring to see someone not get frustrated, and to just solve the problem!  Also pay close attention when they get errors and can’t figure out how to fix it.  That is such a common problem, and one of the most important aspects of programming, and to see techniques for how to dig yourself out of that hole are invaluable!

I used to try and code along with the instructor.  Now I believe that’s not the best technique.  I think it’s more important to just watch closely, take a few notes if you have to, but coding along will probably mean you’ll end up with tons and tons of typos in your code, and you’ll spend too much time trying to fix those little errors, and you won’t internalize whatever programming concept the instructor was trying to teach.

Good luck!