ZettelKasten method to learn new programming languages

ZettelKasten (ZK) is a proven method of building index cards of information/knowledge. The method makes it easy for an author to later retrieve and reorganize that information to put into an academic paper or books for example.

ZK basically tags each index card and builds links between multiple cards. It sounds so obvious in today’s world that is full of hash-tags and search results in clickable web-links. It is a great method to build a repository of knowledge on a large scale.

Here we are trying to “hack” the method into solving a smaller scale problem: learning a new programming language.

It’s “interesting” that new programming languages keep coming out that deserve attention. How to learn a new language for an experienced programmer?

The problem is that to learn a new language, one reads its tutorial/manual that always talks about “hello world”, string syntax, for-loops etc. to begin with. These are essential to get the compiler happy in order to write your first program. But it feels redundant quickly, since all the programming languages nowadays share a very similar syntax. Where is the “meat” of that shinny new language?

Armed with ZK (and its sublime text extension implementation), an experienced programmer can dive into the deeper end of the manual, or source code directly, leaving a trail of language syntax and features as tags or links to revisit/learn later.

It could be the faster and more efficient way of learning a new language for an experience programmer.

(to be expanded with examples)

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