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Are video tutorials good to learn from?


Short answer:__ No!__
Long answer: almost never, it depends, as always.

But why?

If you are receiving this tag it’s probably because you are currently learning a programming language, without any prior computer science knowledge, and you are attempting to learn by you()rself through YouTube videos.

While video tutorials have their place they are generally not suited to teach a language from scratch. Especially the multi-hour long ones. The rest of this tag will primarily target these in particular but it applies to most videos about learning from scratch.

Because of their format, they tend to have a pace that is too fast for efficient retention and watching tends to be a passive relation to the material in itself. This usually don’t help with a first learning. Additionally, they tend to present the different concepts in an order that seems odd from a teaching point of view (conditional flows after inheritance for instance).

Finally videos have inherent usability issues: it’s harder to rewind at the correct time than to scroll back up to read again a paragraph for instance.

Are they doomed then?

Of course not. They can be useful when coming from another language, as the groundwork is already done for the understanding of the material, and only details needs to be learned.

They are also useful for the mostly visual tasks such as using a GUI tool (IDE, installations, workflows through menus, etc), and demonstrations (explaining a concept with a quick example, showcases, etc)