DEV Community

Cover image for Escape from Tutorial Hell

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

Escape from Tutorial Hell

Learning programming is hard, which is why tutorials are helpful to ease the learning process. However, over-dependence on them can slow your development growth.

Just think of this, you are sitting in front of your computer and ready to learn a new programming language. You start finding tutorials or courses on the internet to have an idea on how to get started. You followed your instructor step by step. But as you continue watching halfway, you just felt your mind is going blank. You don't have a clear idea of how's going on when you start reading your code. All that is left is the feeling of self-doubt and uncertainty.

I'm done watching this. Did I learn enough? I should watch another tutorial. I need to master this.

If you find yourself going through this experience, well, welcome to tutorial hell. It is a situation where you were dependent on following a tutorial to build or create something. It is a common situation that beginners fall into. I know learning to code on your own is difficult, and I wanted to share my experience on how I got out of tutorial hell.

Why do we get stuck in Tutorial Hell?

Let us talk first about the reasons why developers stay here.

  1. You're doing tutorials to add skill to your resume. You only write the code you followed from the tutorial and not developing that skill.

  2. You moved onto another tutorial without adding or refactoring it.

  3. You consume information from courses that are pretty similar to beginner level repackaged by different people.

  4. You get overwhelmed by the information written or taught in tutorials.

I'm not saying that you should not do tutorials. My point is to use tutorials effectively to escape tutorial hell, improve your learning, and gain skills.

Okay. Let's pave the way towards escaping tutorial hell.

How to escape Tutorial Hell

There are many ways to break out of tutorial hell.

  1. Start your own project. Once you learn the basic, push yourself to use it in real life application. Creating your own project is one of the most effective way of gaining skills and experience. You will find a problems that you can't solve alone and that's the time you google the issue, post a question on stack overflow, read blogs to solve your problem.

  2. Contribute to open source. Find a project that interest you, solve a problem or add a new feature. It is a great feeling when your pull request is approved.

  3. Join a community. You will get exposed to new ideas, best practices, and practical suggestions and learn a lot from members of the community. Communities provide you the most efficient way to share, ask, and find an answer.

Final Thoughts

Tutorial hell is a miserable place to be. You don't know if you're heading the right way and you feel its hopeless to learn programming. But be patient. You'll be out of there soon. And remember, never return.

Top comments (2)

lelepg profile image
Letícia Pegoraro Garcez

Very interesting topic. I am a huge fan of following tutorials, but the only way to really improve your skills is practicing. Creating your own projects is really helpful, specially when you have a community to help with them. Sometimes when I can't do something in my project, I ask the community and it helps a lot. Sharing knowledge is very important nowdays.

condinoaljoseph profile image
elpmid • Edited

Yes. This is the most effective way to escape tutorial hell. Building a project that your really interested in and love to make where you can apply your 'learnings' from the tutorial.