Lorenze Jay Blog

Lorenze Jay Blog

Escape Tutorial Hell By Just Doing It

Escape Tutorial Hell By Just Doing It

Learning how to code has been more accessible than ever before. There are countless resources online from Udemy, Youtube, blogs, and dedicated websites on how to begin learning how to code. Want to learn a new technology ~ watch a youtube video and bam you can get started on your programming venture.

To the many new developers learning or wanting to learn, I hope this helps you avoid what many have faced called šŸ”„tutorial hellšŸ”„. To the uninitiated, tutorial hell is an endless cycle of watching tutorials thinking we learned the concepts from the video only to realize we don't actually know how to do what the tutorial just taught us. And then you watch another tutorial. We've all been there, at least most of us have, if you haven't go buy a lottery ticket... To you new guys or galls, you have been warned.

You may have a collection of courses stockpiled and never finished as you continue your quest for the next best tutorial to teach me whatever technology... Screen Shot 2021-07-30 at 3.36.15 PM.png

The problem

Coding Tutorials, for your convenience, tend to hide out the errors the instructor makes so you don't have to watch minutes of them banging their heads on the table trying to resolve an object is possibly undefined error. We don't see the entire process of them debugging and problem-solving. This is what I think is the real problem- not being shown the entire process. The tutorials are so perfect that when we reach an error on our own project, we don't know what to do. 'Yo, the tutorial I just watched didn't teach me how to resolve this... what do I do ??? '

So how can I escape?

There are many ways to escape tutorial hell. But for me, the best way was to break my app and kind of wing it. When I wanted to learn TypeScript I just did. I tried a tutorial, but when I realized it won't solve my problem, I just converted my entire react app that was migrated to TypeScript. Additionally, I looked at other people's code and when I faced errors, just googled / StackOverflow my way to a solution. I actually broke my app a couple of times but that only led me to understand TypeScript better. And after a month, I deployed my first application with TypeScript.

Want to learn a new language like French. You have to speak it right? If you don't speak it after learning new words, you'll quickly forget it. It's all about application. I think that's the only way to really get a grasp of this whole development/programming thing. So break things and just do it. No one is watching you.

Heres a roadmap

  1. You learn something
  2. Then you apply what you learn to a project
  3. Resolve the errors you face yourself
  4. Repeat.

If you're still pretty fresh and need to watch a tutorial

  1. Learn by watching the tutorial.
  2. Code along ~take notes on stuff you don't entirely understand.
  3. Pause the video and try to solve it before the instructor shows you how to do something.
  4. Once you complete the tutorial, do a project with the concepts you literally just learned - this is the most important part.

Practical Example

I just learned HTML and CSS and built a static website from a youtube video. We made a cool landing page. Great! Now do your own version of a landing page and make it better, maybe add some better layout for the images or add a video for the hero section.


Overall, tutorials are great for learning something new. And being a programmer is all about problem-solving. In tutorials, there's not much problem solving as the instructor did all of that for you. Therefore, when you reach a problem on your own, it may be a bit hard to overcome it.

So to break from that loop of tutorial hell, learn something, apply what you learned by making something with it, then try to make it better by yourself, then repeat. You will not only not need to rely on tutorials, but you will become a better problem solver.

Also, you'll save a bunch of money too cause you won't have a bunch of Udemy courses that you will never finish.

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