How You Can Become A Productive Developer By Escaping Tutorial Purgatory

A mental short-circuit

Watching a tutorial resumes to watching a developer coding a project while you follow along.

You have to pay attention to what and how the codes while at the same time paying attention to his explanation in order to understand the logic behind the lines of codes you’ve written.

Sometimes you have to re-watch the tutorials because you didn’t have the time to both understand and follow along with the code.

Yet tutorials are a convenient way to learn.

Maybe too convenient. Tutorials are so convenient that they became a commodity. You start to watch tutorial after tutorial because why not?

My tutorial purgatory rose from a fear of being unproductive. I wanted to feel that I’m actually productive and I’m making progress.

Tutorials were just a band-aid.

I was afraid of diving into a real project because I knew I had to face the burden of making decisions and waste countless hours because of simple mistakes of which I hadn’t had knowledge of.

I gave up my responsibility as a coder to the tutorial which I could passively watch and still allowed me to feel productive.

But tutorials can never prepare for what is ahead of you in the real world.

You have to remove the band-aid and accept reality as it is. You will struggle sometimes but even senior developers struggle on their projects. Why would your situation be different?

Tutorials give you information based on a specific context and put constraints on your creativity. You know how to use the information, but not when. Knowing the context in which to use a concept is vital to understand the concept.

Most of my projects were “follow-along” projects.

The projects were perfectly functional and complete. The code was like a poem and the website ran silk-smooth. But was it an actual proof of my capabilities as a developer? Would it be actually valuable for me to use it in my resume?

In a real-world situation, the struggle is unavoidable. You can’t take shortcuts when learning to code. What growth could I expect if I didn’t struggle when I worked on my projects?

Haste might also push you into tutorial purgatory.

You want to become a coder in 3 months, get a job, maybe even a remote one and start making a living from what you love doing.

The idea of web development is such a cool job had gotten the best of me. I couldn’t wait to be done with the current language so I could move on to another.

Jumping from one tutorial, from one technology to another, will actually make you stagnant.

You should never aim to run through a language and then move to another one. Change your tactics, be a slow but efficient learner. Pick a language and stick with it until you can build something substantial out of it.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. — Confucius