Cognitive load is the amount of working memory needed to complete a task. There are broadly three types of cognitive load when programming: intrinsic (knowing how to program), extraneous (knowing how to construct an array, add items to a database, or call an API), and germane (knowing how to solve a business problem). Intrinsic knowledge is required to program, but developers that can maximize the amount of germane load while decreasing the amount of extraneous load are more productive.

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