TLDR: Read Stack Overflow less, and your language or library’s docs more.
Reasons to RTFM
- Less likely to be outdated
- Less likely to be incorrect
- Provides more context
- Documentation gets easier to read the more time is spent with it
- You’re learning while you’re searching
It's easy to get in a habit of immediately looking up ready-made solutions; never slowing down to more deeply understand our problems, and our tools. Not only can ready-made solutions create shallow knowledge, total time spend can be longer if few people have had the same problem, or if we're not knowledgeable enough to know what to look for.
Stack Overflow is still great, but it’s not the first resource I would reach for.
More great reading material
- Source code: Will make you a better developer
- Patch notes: May have better information on the latest features than the docs
- Repo issues: The best way to find solutions to project/library specific problems