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The 5 Things That Helped Me Escape Tutorial hell.

Sameer Katija
Ai enthusiast | MERN Stack Developer | Computer Geek| Blogger at thoughtsbuilder.com
Originally published at javascript.plainenglish.io ・5 min read

What is ‘Tutorial hell'?

As I started learning to code, I was stuck in tutorial hell. It felt like, I am learning a lot of the stuff. I have mastered Full-Stack web development. I know, how to create a beautiful and awesome-looking fully-fledged website. One day I thought, let’s build something on my own. What I discovered, pushed me into a state of the fret. I came to know that I don’t know anything, so I started another course and then the same happens and I opt-in for another course until I discovered that I was in tutorial hell.

Tutorial hell is really a hell, where most of the programmers get stuck while learning to code. So, what is this tutorial hell? Well, Tutorial hell is when you continuously keep on watching tutorials one after another and so on and you feel like, you are learning a lot of things and building some good projects. As soon as you start doing something on your own, you get to know that you don’t know anything. Isn’t this sound ludicrous? You have built some good and large projects and still, you don’t know anything, how is it even possible? and you start watching other tutorials and this chain goes on. This is what happens when you are in tutorial hell, you think you are learning, you are accomplishing something, but what you are actually doing is depending on tutorials to teach you to solve the only problem which you have watched. Tutorial hell stops you from learning how to solve problems.

I was learning full-stack web dev just because I wanted to learn as soon as possible and start building my preferred web apps. But it seems, all the odds were against me. I once thought I wasn’t able to learn so-called web development. It seems that it wasn’t my cup of tea. Totally disappointed, I left what I started and started blaming myself.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein

I thought, instead of blaming myself, wouldn’t it be useful to change my strategy? After some time, I started again. I thought I should do something to really learn something valuable. I read many articles and watched a lot of youtube videos to escape tutorial hell, but all in vain.

I learned a valuable lesson, this isn’t certain that if something works for others should also work for me.

A question to ponder. The answer lies within the question. What worked for others, didn’t work for me. I thought I should change my strategy. I reinvented my whole strategy of learning to code and actually learned something valuable, which today I can contribute.

How I escaped tutorial hell

Today, I will be sharing the strategy that I used for escaping the tutorial hell. You should be glad that I am not here to ask you to solve a real-world problem and contribute to open source. Everybody does it. Right?

The thought-provoking question is that if I was able to do it, why would I consider myself in tutorial hell. I read somewhere that I should actually create something on my own to escape tutorial hell. Which I think is totally bullshit. Nobody starts learning to code and solve a real-world problem on the go. It takes time. So, what should we do instead?

1. Start small

Don’t just try to jump to the top at once. Nobody can do it. You will be motivated and going crazy for the first week or maybe two and after that, you will lose your willpower, and you lost track of what you started. It is better to do it small and step-by-step.

Let me explain it practically, I want you to open your code editor. Please do it now. If you didn’t open it. You should open it. After all, it’s a request. Okay now many of you have opened the text editor and you did it with ease. What if you guys were using a pc, which takes almost an hour to open a code-editor would you still have opened the code editor? or if instead of asking you just to open a code-editor, I would have asked you to open a code-editor and code an entire website. Would you have done that? I guess a big ‘NO’. If something exceeds your level of willpower, the chances are that you will quit it soon.

Same is the case with programming. When we are in tutorial hell, we are asked to solve real-world problems. Due to limited willpower, we think this is not our cup of tea and we quit. This is why start small, code daily for at least one 10 minutes without stressing out yourself.

2. Learn the basics

Don’t even dare to build a skyscraper without building a strong base. You need to understand the basics before you go toward the advanced stuff. I have seen a lot of peoples planning to hack NASA with HTML. Isn’t this sound crazy? Therefore, Learn the basics first.

3. Repetition is the key

Who doesn’t knows that,

Repetition is the mother of skill.
Tony Robbins

Practice it too often, but keep in mind don’t go crazy. You will lose track.

4. Teach others

If in doubt about any specific topic, teach it to others. In one study in Applied Cognitive psychology, researchers set out to check if teaching improves the teacher’s learning and they found it does. Teaching compels the teachers to retrieve what they have previously studied. Recalling back what we have learned leads to the deeper and longer-lasting acquisition of that information than more time spent re-studying. So, what are you waiting for?

5. Write it down

Indeed, Reading and writing is the best form of meditation. when you start writing something, you set a deeper connection to your thoughts. Which help you get the whole overview of what you actually know and what you don’t. When you are confused about whether you know or you don’t, you should start writing then you will get to know.

Conclusion

This was my strategy, which I used to escape tutorial hell and learn better. This will for sure help many and this will be useless too for many. This isn’t necessary that it should work for you, just because it worked for me. With all that, I wish you Good Luck.

If you liked my article, give it a like and let me know if you had a similar problem and how you escape it. It will help the people. Share it with your friends, because Sharing is caring.

Discussion (6)

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raphael_jambalos profile image
Raphael Jambalos

Hi Sameer, I agree with your points. Tutorial hell is very real and can be a bottomless pit if you let it. For me, the best way to get out of tutorial hell is to design your own hands-on based on the concepts you have learned. Then, once you have achieved that, trying to think of ways to make it harder. You're going to be stuck a bit and you'll eventually have to research something you haven't encountered. Once you conquered that challenge, think of ways to add another feature to make it harder... and so on....

There's a term for this coined by the psychologist Mihali Csikszentmihalyi. It's called flow. It is a state where we forget about our surroundings for a moment and just focus on the task at hand. The task must not be too easy (or it will bore us) and it must not be too hard (or it will make us give up). It must have clear rules and way of feedback (the incremental coding challenge is clearly quantifiable: either you achieved that feature or not).

ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmiha...

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sameerkatija profile image
Sameer Katija Author

Raphael, You have mentioned such an amazing thing, with this said i guess so this post is complete now.

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christiankozalla profile image
Christian Kozalla • Edited

Hi Sameer, thanks for this great post! It's a real struggle with tutorial hell, I know.

I've seen, this post is originally published elsewhere. Dev.to got a feature to add a canonical url to posts that are originally published somewhere else (like yours). I believe it enhances SEO as well. You can add a canonical url to this post in front matter before the main content

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canonical_url: https://javascript.plainenglish.io/tutorial-hell-how-can-you-escape-it-8a6a7da3ae08
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sameerkatija profile image
Sameer Katija Author

Thanks, sure I will do it now

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devlorenzo profile image
DevLorenzo

I have seen a lot of peoples planning to hack NASA (with HTML)

Ah, okay

But I love the concept 🤗, Nice article!

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sameerkatija profile image
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