How to Be Free From Tutorial Hell: As a new Developer.

How to Be Free From Tutorial Hell: As a new Developer.

..So you seek freedom? do not worry I have got you covered. First let me ask you a question, How many tutorials have you watched so far since you started your journey as a developer? I guess your answer is as good as mine, a ton! and you have a checklist of them pending to be watched :). It's okay, I have been there, and I hope you read on to share on my personal insights on how you can be free again.

What is Tutorial Hell?

You may be asking; what the hell is Tutorial Hell? well according to Urban Dictionary it defines it thus:

"When you are learning Computer Science and programming but unfortunately you don't understand any of the code you wrote down from the tutorial but it works. Not only that you cannot write your own. It is very hard to get out of this and be able to write your own code. So it is a hell."

Now that out of the way, let's see how one can be set free again from this hell.

Don't Lie to Yourself

Learning a new Language or Framework etc. can be daunting especially for a newbie. I remember taking a course on Pluralsight to understand Java fundamentals, I ended up watching the whole course content while coding along the tutor, I felt great because to me I can go ahead and write Java fluently not knowing that I was only having a false feeling. It later dawned on me when I had to work on an android project and then my Java skills disappointed me. I went ahead to take on another tutorial on YouTube because I felt the Pluralsight course was not enough for me. I lied to myself.

To get around this, I figured a way out:

I signed up in Hackerrank an online platform for practicing coding skills, they are tonnes of them, like Codewars, LeetCode, Project Euler and more. It helped me to push myself while solving their code challenges. there is a caveat to this approach, because there is a tendency to google the answers, don't do it as you will just be shooting yourself in the foot. Try to figure out the answers yourself and if you don't get it right you can read hints and insights on how to solve them. After you try all you can and don't seem to figure it out, you can go ahead and look up the answer on Stack Overflow and then try it out again without looking at the code. This requires self discipline.


The 80/20 Rule

Take a look at this quote by one of the most successful CEOs;

"It is only by saying no that you can concentrate on things that are really important" ...Steve Jobs

I also liken this quote to the Pareto Principle which states that 80% of results will come from just 20% of the action. This is the 80/20 Rule.

I know they are amazing tutorials out the and free too, but for you to get to your destination faster, you need to resist the urge of wanting to watch all of them. Concentrate on the ones that matter at the moment which aligns to the concept or project you are working on, this way you gain an in-depth understanding by also applying what you have learnt. Watch fewer tutorials smarter and learn faster by maximizing the 20% of your time that is usually required to produce 80% of your greatest results. Is it better to watch 5 courses and build zero projects than watch a single course and go on to build 2 projects? I know you answered right :), I am also pushing myself ever since I got to know about this. It does not have to be the next Google or Facebook just something that you can proud of as a budding developer, it is always hard at first but with time and persistence it will become a way of life.

Success Does Not Happen Overnight

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times" ...Bruce Lee.

I remember the story of one of the world's greatest inventors, Thomas Edison who built about 10,000 prototypes of the electric bulb before hitting success. This is unimaginable and sounds crazy, but it is the reality. It might not be the same story for you in your journey as developer and I don't wish that for you even to myself but then, hurdles, challenges, depression and the likes are inevitable in this journey so you have to embrace them when they come calling. Trust me they will only make you better when you overcome them.

...So you have finished building your project after taking a course and you found that it does not meet your requirements, what do you do? Well the simple answer is Practice! Practice!! Practice!!!. This phrase is already a cliche but it is still very valid and I will like to tell you that "Practice makes perfect".


Photo by Retha Ferguson from Pexels

Seek Understanding Instead of Solution

"The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding" ...Leonardo da Vinci

I know you must have heard of the all-enthralling Impostor Syndrome, yes it makes you feel like a fraudster who might get exposed someday, I feel that too and I must say It is a very bad feeling. Remember, The goal is to be a world class developer a better one at that. Do not blindly copy-paste code from tutorials without striving to understand what the piece of code does, quit hacking problems and learn to understand the problem and eventually fixing it squarely.

Recently I have found true joy as a developer by reading other experienced developer's code, this honestly make me understand certain design patterns, architectures and the best ways to write clean code. The code can seem very complicated and daunting at first, It's normal most professional developers felt the same way too.

Remember when you were learning to walk for the first time, how was the experience? That's if you remember, ha ha. But you can agree with me that it was quite difficult but you later walked and perfectly too, great isn't it?

Final Words

I am writing this article not because I am better than you or anything but because personally, I have found that these techniques are very effective ways to break the loop of tutorial after tutorial and wished to share them. I write this also as a reference for me in the future. I hope you find this article helpful and if you know a way or ways to be freer from this tutorial hell, please feel free to drop a comment below as it will be much appreciated.

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cover image by pixabay on pexels