Help yourself out

anand posted this on 05 Mar 2011

If a new web framework comes out, we expect a book and good blog post to be written, for us to start learning about it. If we get stuck in a problem, we expect Stackoverflow and other forums to help us out. At least, I've seen this in some people (and me). There is this, sort of permanent dependency on other things, to help us out of doubts or difficult situations in progamming. What've learnt from my seniors and some of my web friends, is that, the more we become independent in solving our problems, the more skill we have.

While working with vim, we get stuck sometimes in doing repetitive tasks. We then actually browse web/google it to get the solution from a blog post or something. What we have to realize is that Vim comes with pretty extensive help system on its own. Many (at least I) didn't know how to use it well. :h can solve any problem you might have in Vim. Vim help system is the only way you can help yourself when you face problems in Vim. No blog post or no video can help you. But, to get started in Vim help system, this video is really useful.

I wonder how many people using Git know about git ls-tree command. Not many of us go and reading commands more than the necessary ones (pull, push, add, commit). Again, when we get stuck, what I've realized is that knowing "Git internals" will really help us in any situation we might be in, while using git. This book is "The" book on Git Internals. Must read.

Well, for helping ourselves on Rails, knowledge about core ruby is really really essential. Instead of reading the documentation, if we read the corresponding code in Rails, it will really help on long term. Daily, on an average, 5-6 commits go into rails repository. Reading new code in the repository, will keep everyone updated. This book is the best on fundamentals of Ruby.

To sum it up, "knowing ruby", "using vim help system", "knowing Git internals" can solve problems (that are out of your actual business/application) easily. This is what I learnt from many guys whom I admire for their coding smartness.