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Breaking out of tutorial hell

In this article I want to address escaping tutorial hell and if you haven't heard of that expression before it is basically where you're learning to code and you become super dependent on YouTube tutorials or courses and when you try to create your project you don't even know where to start.

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Why tutorials are bad 👎

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It slows you down and more importantly, it gives no understanding of how important different pieces are of no tutorial can teach you which part of the framework or language are the ones that you are going to use there is no way for you to prioritize for yourself for which things you need to learn. and learning for sake of learning rather than for sake of building. the harsh reality is there will always be more to learn. You should know enough of things so that you focus on that the sooner you can away with the tutorial and into building the better it will help you significantly

Don't copy code 🙅

Problem with tutorial hell: It gives you a false sense of progress.

I have seen beginners building to-do lists and projects and copying the exact code from the tutorial, it's not about building a to-do list or any project. It's about what you are learning while you're building it so.

Write down the concepts Learn how to connect to a database Learn abstraction layer Learn how to structure the application Learn how to create UI and connect UI to the backend Learn to host

So, there are a lot of valuable things you're gonna learn from to-do list app

Contributing to open source 😊

GitHub is a treasure house for developers. We improve by learning from different codes, example taking code reference from your fav repo and looking at the code and how the developer used methods/functions or any algorithm implemented by them gives you a solid idea of some of the best practices

Open source is an underrated way to escape tutorial hell

Algorithm challenges 😊

Another thing I would suggest is algorithm and challenges and it might not seem productive but I have realized that they are just push-ups for your mind, it helps you solve the problem faster it helps you learn the syntax and learn different methods that you might have not to know about and just it makes you a better programmer which in turn allows you to be more productive and do things faster.

Use Documentation 🗺️

Courses outdated very quickly, you should also use resources specifically documentation. Frameworks and languages they update and the documentation are more accurate. Some documentation sucks but most of them are up to date.

Start building 💻

Start working, it's easier said than done but when you start working you will be pulled out of the tutorial hell whether you like it or not. there's no tutorial to fall and you have to figure it out. Building projects on your own prepare you for that real-world experience as a programmer. The goal is never to stop watching tutorials it's just to make them more efficient in your learning

Conclusion 🎁

As a self-taught developer, I have been stuck in tutorial hell more than once. I know how scary and intimidating it can be to leave the safety of the step-by-step instructions and jump head-first into building something from scratch. But, frankly, if the goal is to be a developer, there is simply no other choice!

I genuinely have this feeling that you're gonna come out of this loop.

Thank you for reading :), To learn more, check out my other blogs. If you liked this article, consider following me on for my latest publications. You can reach out to me on Twitter,Linkedin and Github.

Keep learning! Keep coding!! 💛

Top comments (9)

marshall777 profile image

Great post.

I often wanted to go through open source to see some real life examples rather than tutorials one. However, I find it difficult to find the right project to do so. You have to consider the technology used, the level of complexity so that you learn but don't get lost in a tons of new things. I wish GitHub had some feature to help finding these projets.

How do you do to find open source projets to learn from ?

sibandaneo profile image
Neo Sibanda

Interesting Blog,and i agree with you that when you start working you will be pulled out of the tutorial hell and have to figure it out with experience and it really prepares you rather than been spoon fed tutorials. Can you share on how you managed to jump head first into building something from scratch?

shubhicodes profile image

Thanks for feedback Neo.
So, I plan into building by looking at what is the app built in the tutorial, I'll go through it and try to custom the UI or try implementing small features so that it should be a learning for me and not only following the code.
Also contributing to open source is add on, you will get to learn and collaborate.

alok38 profile image

How important are Algorithm challenges for an aspiring frontend developer?
Just curious

shubhicodes profile image

They are good to have else you can showcase your projects as a frontend developer.

cloutierjo profile image

It's depend, are you targeting only ui styling? A decade back that was common, nowadays i see a lot of front-end dev that need to use patterns and algo to solve front-end issue. One of our last work included shape collision detection on a map. But even some common case happen often, sorting a table, date calculation, cache invalidation(which by itself might be one of the hardest problem in cs that has to be done again an again)...

Also just data manipulation to go from an api answer to a page rendering is also some algorithmic work.

Algo challenge make you improve the knowledge or your language(s) and thus improve the quality of your code and your ease to write it.

But for sure, even as a backenddev myself I probably never had to write deep algo code like I do in the challenges they are still fun and force you to think by yourself, thus getting out of tutorial hell.

Otherwise, I've seen some design challenge of that's more what your targeting (things like reproduce that picture with only one div, or other reproduction challenge where you don't have the solution)

iamskjha profile image
Shivendu Kumar

Very Helpful Blog Shubhangi 🔥🔥🙌

shubhicodes profile image

Thank you Shivendu !!

amykhar profile image

My personal strategy is to do tutorials that are associated with a real project or task that I have in mind. As I learn enough from the tutorial, I immediately add it to the intended project/task. I try to do the 'real project' work on my own as sort of a 'quiz' about what I learned.

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