Doing projects with code along videos a bad idea?

I have gone through many tutorials especially from Udemy and FCC and learned HTML, CSS, JS and Bootstrap.

One thing I always read online from web developers and real life web developers; is to build a career as a web developer, you need to start building your own projects. So that became my plan; but what I did was not make projects completely by myself (except for a few), instead I watched code along videos (which are quite popular in Udemy courses).

So please tell me, am I doing the right thing?
If what I am doing is not right or even if not, what is it that I really should be doing to make a career as a web developer?

Thank you

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Code-along videos might be helpful when you’re starting out, but you should try to move away from them as soon as you can. Do more of the FCC projects instead, where you’re encouraged to write your own code from scratch.

Later when you’re more familiar with writing code from scratch, it might make more sense to return to the code-along video courses. Being able to anticipate the line of code that an instructor is going to write next is a good point to get to.


The thing is, I have a lot of pressure from University studies the reason I can’t work on my own projects. Hence I go into code along tutorials to at least be involved with web stuff instead of forgetting it all.
And yes, I am able to anticipate the line of code before the instructor types it.

Code along videos and tutorials can be helpful, but they don’t help with what I think is the hardest coding skill - seeing a problem and designing a solution.

In the end, there is no substitute for building new code. I get that life and school get busy, but you will want to get to the point where you are doing projects on your own.

I would add up the time you are using for code along videos and tutorials and try to build something instead. Take an idea and break it into a bunch of little pieces that you can do in the same time you would spend watching a video.

Good luck at University and coding!


I don’t really know back end yet and react (which I am really eager to learn).
Should I learn back end and react first then start my own projects?

Coding along with a video can be helpful, but really the best way you can learn what you’re doing and how to do it is to do projects yourself. Getting stuck and then solving the problem yourself does wonders for knowing how it works. I would say that sticking with videos is safe for learning the basics, but you need to launch yourself off the deep end and take the step of doing something yourself. Of course, it’s always fine to look for help if you run into a roadblock. If you try to find a solution to an issue but can’t figure it out and need to find more resources on it, chances are you’ll understand whatever their solution is better after you’ve thought about how to solve it yourself for a while.

It’s fine to not know everything you’re doing! Moving away from using videos does not mean straight up throwing all help away, we’re always learning. Also, it’s good to remember you don’t need to finish a project in one sitting. Just start something, anything, find a project concept online if you don’t have an idea and just do a bit of it at a time. I like making to-do lists with my code and just finding a fun section to work on for a few minutes if I don’t have hours to do something big.

This got slightly off topic, maybe, but tldr; just do it!

Also, @ your newest comment: Start a project anyway. You don’t need to have a whole skillset for everything before making your own things. Learn as you develop your project.

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Personally, I’m a C guy, so I recommend backend down to the chip! :laughing:

Seriously though, if you have an idea, start making pieces. Once you have some parts in play, then you will know what other skills or technology you will need to learn. You’ll probably never know everything you need to know to do a project out in the wild - the new pieces are part of the fun and excitement!


Thank you so much @JeremyLT and @ranjit-ao for your advice!!
This really helped a lot!! <3 <3
Now my main question, when do I learn react? :stuck_out_tongue:
I really really feel a strong urge to dive into it

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Also remember that a “project” can be anything. Start small. A “project” could be as small as one function to start with.

When you know more, put together several functions. Then assemble a front-end. Then assemble a back-end. Then integrate them together.

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I have done those small ones quite a few
but never really put together…

You seem enthusiastic about learning react, nothing’s stopping you. Go for it, assuming you know some js for context :smile:

It’s good you’ve been working on smaller projects. Try combining knowledge that seems very simple/that you’re proficient in with newer concepts that you’re learning. Doesn’t matter if what you’re writing is incredibly useful or beautiful all the time, I like just messing around with whatever I’d learned that day to make funny output as long as I’m practicing and writing code, then will try to make something cool once I actually remember the syntax of functions etc.

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Code-along videos are fine, as long as you understand what you’re typing in, or at least will understand it very shortly after. I’ve been programming for decades, and I still watch tutorial videos on new topics. A code-along that leaves you confused as to what you’re doing is one you shouldn’t bother with. A good tutorial is one you leave not needing to view another tutorial on the subject.

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Thank you so much!!!
@chuckadams and @ranjit-ao :grin: :grin:

I mean it is kind of mainstream in these days to call it a “tutorial hell”.
Speaking from my experience I absolutelly love Udemy tutorials.
I was coding along for 7-8 months following udemy videos starting from html-css-js-react-redux-node and was able to land my first job as a jr react dev.
Anyways if you will find a job, it will be 180degrees different that you have done on your own. For example you did max 200-300 lines of code in your own app and real life projects have 100 000 to millions lines of code.
I have a dev job, after job and on weekends I watch udemy courses, code along and enjoy it. Its just how I absorb the information. And I dont want to stop watching videos and start building my own projects asap because “i have to build my own project” that no one needs including me.
The problem here might be if you have 5-10 udemy courses each of them 30% completed )))) i have 2-3 similar courses )))))
Just need commitment to finish this course and it will help during your job.

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So tell me about your favorite or most recommended courses from Udemy for web development? @Arsikod

What do you mean by debut? @arsomartinera

for absolute beginner JS - Shaun Pelling (is a must)
then intermediate JS - Andrew Mead
50 projects JS course - Lawrence Svekis
— it will take 350 hours of study
for absolute beginner ReactJS - Rob Bunch (is a must)
for intermediate ReactJS - Colt Steele
project course - Andrei Neagoie
—will take 300-350 hours of study
Totally will take 650-700 hours of study
Divide the total hours on your daily study hours and you will find out when you will be ready to become a juniorest dev )))
then you are good to go.


What about backend?

Thanks for your kind information.
I started Js from [Jonas Schmedtmann] course.
What about nodeJs or Django?
BTW,What do you prefer for Backend Services

I generally find I don’t learn from watching videos and simply “copying” what the author is typing. I’m spending so much time trying to imitate what they write that I’m not actually focused on what I’m coding or how it works. It’s good for a new concept (something I’ve never done or a new language), but I lose interest fast.

I prefer being given a problem and solving it myself. Like a written tutorial, or vague guidelines that need to be completed, or the lessons on freeCodeCamp or Codecademy. I find these are a good balance of “teaching” and “figure it out myself” that I learn best.

Also in-class learning. I don’t quite understand how it is different than watching a video, but having real-life people explain concepts is so much better. Maybe because you can ask questions, it’s not just a 1-way dialogue.

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