How can I learn reading/working with other people's code?

Hi guys. I have read that one of the most important skills needed when starting as a junior developer is being able to read/work with other people’s code. However in FCC and any other resource I’ve used for learning to code and programme I’ve never been able to practice this.

Does anyone have any suggestions of how I can practice this skill and get good at it?

This isn’t something that comes from isolated practice, and you’d be wasting a lot of time trying. Comprehension will come naturally if you

  • Read programming books
  • Clone a project on GitHub and figure out how it works.
  • Help people with their problems here on the forum
  • Build your own projects
  • Collaborate with another camper, or even pair program

In order to understand others people code, you must have solid knowledge of the language they’re using, start with making your foundations stronger.

Then, just jump into the code and dissect it, think about every single imported module, function and variable.

Have fun !

Contribute to the Free Code Camp project! This should be a good bunny slope for learning to work in an existing code base. Here is the contributor’s guide.

Something that helped me was using particular libraries that didn’t have great documentation after the initial ‘hello world’ details.

I searched GitHub for other projects using the libraries and looked at how they implemented more advanced features. Reading other codebases with that kind of purpose helped me focus on particular aspects and reason about things like their architecture / structure without feeling like I was completely under-qualified.

I think finding examples that are trying to implement similar things to you is useful because you’ll have a head start on understanding it. If you just look at popular repositories that you’re not actually trying to build something similar to, it can be very overwhelming.