I often hear people say they're focusing on 'conceptual understanding' while they study. There's some superficial truth to this. You don't want to know a jumble of random commands or syntax and have no idea how it all hangs together.
But focusing on 'conceptual understanding' is deceptive and dangerous. Here's why.
First, 'conceptual understanding' is often used as an excuse to avoid the hard but high-value work of deliberate practice.
Good practice is hard because it strains you. Anyone who has spent three hours (or three days) working through a single Codewars problem knows how this feels! The earlier you are in your learning curve, the harder this is.
It's too easy to say "Screw that! I'll watch a video to focus on my conceptual understanding instead." This leads to a plague of YouTube tutorials and articles. While reading about programming might feel like learning, often it's just consumption – a little bit better than browsing the news or Facebook.