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Road signs and writing for beginners

Dzhavat Ushev
Front-end developer trying to make useful stuff.
Originally published at dzhavat.github.io Updated on ・2 min read

This post was originally published on my blog.


I was driving on the highway a few days ago and thought of something interesting. Somehow I found similarity between road signs and writing tutorials for beginners. Let me elaborate.

Say you’re driving on the highway. While doing so, you pass by all kinds of road signs. One that comes quite often is the speed limit. It servers two main purposes. One is to remind YOU - the driver already on the highway - what the currently lawful speed limit is. It’s not that you forgot about it. After all, you saw it just a few minutes ago. But seeing it again confirms an information you already have.

Its second purpose is to give information to the new drivers that are merging onto the highway. They are joining from different roads and at different times, and they are just about to see the speed limit sign for the first time.

Cars driving on the highway

Now compare this to a “getting started” tutorial. It can be about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, anything. For the developer who’s been working with these technologies for some time, seeing yet another “getting started” tutorial will not be something new. He/she probably knows what inside without even looking at it. However, this tutorial servers some very important purposes. It’s an opportunity to refresh his/her knowledge. It’s also a confirmation that his/her knowledge is still relevant.

As for the person wanting to become a developer, this “getting started” tutorial will be the first opportunity to learn and get introduced to some new information. He/she is about to be joining an exciting new “highway” among many others already “driving” on it.

“Getting started with ...” are for experienced and beginners alike

I admit that in the past I used to get annoyed by such tutorials. I was like “Oh, come on! Not another one! Please write something that will actually teach me something.” I’m sorry about that. I didn’t truly understand it back then. I see the point now.

So what’s the lesson?

Don’t dismiss “getting started” tutorials because you’re already familiar with the technology. Even if you don’t find it relevant, know that for someone somewhere this will be their first opportunity to learn something new. The least you could do is respect the time and effort put into it. Then share it with whomever needs it.


Photo by Ksenia Kudelkina on Unsplash.

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