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Once Upon a Time in a Tutorial Loop

A common pitfall for self-taught and new developers is to spend their time learning solely through tutorial after tutorial without applying those new skills. I am a huge fan of online tutorials but I would highly suggest that new developers break up tutorials by setting aside time to Build A Thing.


Tutorials are great but taking the time to apply your new skills by making something (big or small) is a great way to test the extent of your knowledge, run into errors you would not be exposed to in tutorials and get a project out there for feedback! Projects can also be an excellent confidence booster because as you progress through your coding journey you have reference points that showcase how far you've come. For me, projects are also a great way to combat imposter syndrome and provides me with evidence to build myself up when I am feeling less than confident about my recent career change.


There are free testing environments (commonly referred to as coding sandboxes or playgrounds) which can be used to build out mini-projects that you can link out for others to view!

In Brower

Alternatively, you could could build a project using your preferred text editor, create a github repository (storage your a digital copy of your project) and host for viewing on a platform service.
Host your project:

What should I make?

  • Make the scale of your project reasonable for your skill level. Admittedly this sounds like obvious advice but I have seen fellow newbies get swept up with creativity only to get crushed by too large of a scope.
  • It can be something that is just fun and makes you smile! I made a weird plot tweet generator for Avatar The Last Airbender.
  • App Ideas
  • Side Project Ideas

Happy project building!

Top comments (1)

clairemuller profile image
Claire Muller

This is great advice that I really needed to hear!