What is Copywork? Copywork is the process of recreating an existing work as closely as possible in order to improve your own skills. Writers and painters have used this technique to learn how to get better at their chosen craft.
Painters, Writers and Copywork
How do painters learn how to paint? Painters learn their craft by copying the work of their masters. By copying their masters work, a new painter learns how to use color, perspective and other techniques that make a painting great. When you visit a museum, you may see an artist studying and copying a famous painting.
Writers and bloggers get better by copying their favorite writers. They pick out a piece of writing they like and write it down by hand. By copying your favorite writers, you learn how to choose words, what works in a story and get better at writing. You can use the practice to incorporate what you learn into your own writing.
Why write code by hand?
When you learn new code, you have two choices. Type it in by hand or copy and paste. In Learn Ruby the Hard Way, Zed A. Shaw, explains that you learn how code works by entering it by hand, not by copying and pasting. Copying and Pasting is quicker, but you don’t learn how it works. You type it in by hand, so you can learn to read, write and see how the code works.
Copywork lets you focus learning a programming language and not worry about getting the UI right. You can learn only so much from building a beginner app like a To Do List. If you want to learn what a programming language can do, the next step is to find a simple app, copy it and build it in your chosen programming language. Dave Ceddia explains how you can use copy work to learn react.
You can learn or improve your creative skills by copying an existing app. Programmers can use it to learn what they can do with a programming language. Or you can use it to learn how to build or experiment with different UIs.
Have you used copywork to improve your skills?
What are podcasts? They are radio programs that you can take with you and play anywhere. A podcast can have a single host talking about a subject or with guests. Why listen to a podcast? Podcasts are a good way to keep update on industry news and learn new ideas. As a developer, you don’t always have time to read industry blogs or new sites. A podcasts can help you stay current when you have free time like going for a walk or commuting to work.
I have gathered a short list of podcasts that I recommend that you listen to. They range from learning how to run a software development company, conversations on tech and being a better developer.
What is it like to run a software development company? CodePen Radio takes you through how they run CodePen. You learn how the team manages technical, structural and people issues. Each week is a different topic that Chris, Tim and Alex discuss.
Do you like learning from other developers who have built successful business? If so, Indie Hackers podcast has interviews with developers who have built profitable online businesses.
Greater than Code
Do you like to have insightful conversations about people, tech and more? Greater than Code focuses on people and code. They have a diverse group of people who talk about people, tech and other topics.
Hansel Minutes Podcast
Do you have to be an entrepreneur and a developer to talk about tech and entrepreneurship? Scott Hanselman, a programmer at Microsoft, proves that you can be enthusiastic about entrepreneurship and work for a company. He talks about technology, people, culture, programming and much more.
Want to be a better coder? Jonathan Cutrell of Developer Tea talks about tips and techniques on coding. He interviews other developers about how to be a better coder.
Podcasts are a great way to learn more about any topic that interests you. By listening to these podcasts you can keep up to date on ideas about coding, technology, people and entrepreneurship. Do you have any podcasts that you recommend for developers?