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Breaking out of tutorial purgatory ... again

rajpranz profile image Raj Prasad ・3 min read

The world moves fast. Even more the world of software development. It seems that new frameworks are being released every other day. At the start of every year people come up with lists such as "The top programming languages to learn in 20xx". Even the established JavaScript frameworks such as React and Angular have multiple releases every year which brings better ways of doing things.

You might have heard of the phrase "Javascript Fatigue". Which refers to the feeling of despair which sets upon oneself if they try to do keep up to date with what is happening in the javascript world.
The truth is learning never ends. There will always be new things to learn. Better ways of doing things. At some point you will have to make a decision. It is time to stop learning and start doing.
When I heard about the Chingu Cheetah Dash I was keen to give it a go. In case you are not aware, Chingu is a platform that brings developers together to work on projects. These can be group projects or solo projects. The idea is to actually build something, not just follow tutorials.

When I got an invite to be part of this cohort running for this month of March, I thought it would be a good idea to use it to get some projects done, update my knowledge and share the journey with fellow learners.
Today I realised that I still was stuck in Tutorial Purgatory in spite of my best intentions. When I started it I thought that I will try to do 30 projects in 30 days and it is already the third of March and I have not actually started coding yet. I have spent the last few days learning about building CI/CD pipelines and related technologies. I didn't really need to do it but I felt that it can make my projects better. By going down this route I was deviating from what my objective was for this month. To spend as much time as I can on working on projects.

So here is the deal:

A project that is finished is better than a project you haven't even started yet.

As I was thinking about it, the following image came to my mind. The coding journey is like walking along a narrow winding path. Your goal is somewhere along the road but you can't see it yet as it is some way off.
What you can see are a number of side paths and doors which may or may not be locked. If you have played video games you would have a main quest which is at the end of the road. The diversions which are on the way may lead to power ups, new weapons to attack with or some side quests which lead to some other rewards.

Tutorials are like these side quests. You have to balance doing these vs working towards your main goal. There will be an unlimited number of things for you to learn, but these side quests will not bring you closer to your main goal.

My final piece of advice is this. Dont try to learn everything. Learn enough to achieve what you need to get done. Don't let the side quests distract you from your main goal.

Discussion (3)

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rajpranz profile image
Raj Prasad Author

There you go. My first post

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grena_me

Thanks for this write up-down. It is very much so relatable and captured what I have also been experiencing these few days. A good piece of advice!