Getting Out of Tutorial Hell

Hello everyone on the forum. In 2020 (when I was 28 years old) I vowed to become a web developer by the time I reached 30. I started with Michael Hartl’s Learn Enough tutorials, learned HTML, CSS and Jekyll. After that, I was able to use Netlify to create my first web app from a template. I still struggled with the project, but I knew enough to get the site up. I knew how to inspect the project files, read the HTML and CSS well enough to make the changes I needed to make it “my website”.

However, I did not feel that was enough to become a web developer, I felt that was more of a web designer. Unfortunately, I did not stick with the learning process because “life got in the way.”

In March of 2021, (now 29 years old) I came across FCC and decided to use it as my path to becoming a web developer. HTML and CSS were a breeze for the most part but when I got to JS and React things started getting challenging. I enjoyed the challenges but as I did them I felt this crippling uncertainty about becoming a web developer.

Sometimes I could not solve a challenge and had to resort to using Youtubers’ tutorials to complete the challenge.

Now here I am planning how to ensure that by the end of 2022 when I will 30 I will hopefully achieve my dream to become a web developer (It does not matter how low-level it will be)

I have gone through some answers about how to "actually learn and understand the fundamentals how to retail what you learn and taking things slow to understand.

But I have one question to ask the forum, once I have completed FCC and understood the concepts, worked on some personal projects to practice my skills, where next? I cant see the next step after FCC and before becoming a web developer…

I hope my post is not too long :slight_smile: I am just preparing to start the year on the right foot.

I am/was on the same point like you are 2 weeks ago, just finished FCC. 2 years ago I thought the same as you do/did, 6 month ago I found out that learning to code without a teacher is something very weak. Let me tell you why:

  1. It costs a lot of time to find solutions on problems you have if there is no teacher you can ask for help.
  2. In case you found a solution for your problem (the deeper u dive in the harder it is to get an answer by google) you cant be sure that the solution is a proper way or just a crazy workaround which you shouldnt apply.
  3. Kids all over start coding early in school, they are unreachable under the given conditions.

So my phony brain concidered:
Becomming a web developer is possible, but you need “help”. Help could be a gentle chef which gives u an entry point to your career (teammates can teach you). Or would you really like to apply on a job if you are not able to solve upcomming issues? I wont!

But … my brain also concidered:
Try to progress. As one example:

  1. Using react.js was a proper way to build apps for at least 1.5 years, but … whenever there was an error … how should i find out what was wrong without knowing the code of react.js. Further I concidered getting more into it is not reliable. GET YOUR OWN SHIT DONE! So I went back to “Javascript basics” to not only know something like “there is a .map function” or “There is a DOM” but learn to use methods/patterns instictivily. Why does react.js creates a 1mb+ .js compilation while you can achieve nearly the same with a few lines of code? (check Build a Single Page Application with JavaScript (No Frameworks) - YouTube). Do you understand what this dude is doing? (just as 1 simple example). Can you use this pattern to build your own js-project and host it on (for example) firebase including a database, login-machanism, auth-state-based UI and some cool code? You should to step towards a HR-guy for becomming a “JS” - web developer (and be sure all others are not just professionals in JS).

For me it will take me at least a few more years to be able to write competitive JS code with which i maybe could step towards a “friendly chef”.

This is not a “stop progress” post, please dont get me wrong. But you wont step into an arena of professionals without being “prepared” (prepared != prepared …)

Thanks for your answer. I agree you need a teacher or a mentor… Unfortunately, I don’t have one, but I believe coding forums such as these can be a collective teacher then from there maybe I can find a mentor/teacher to work close with. Whether that is a friend, fellow student, fellow self-taught dev or any other capacity.

Thanks for also pointing out something I struggle with…" did I just make it work…or is that how it is supposed to work" I

However, you kind of lost me with one of your take aways. Your post has several takeaways valuable to an upcoming dev, but I might have missed it at the end.

Good to know you’re still on the path towards the target; I’ll suggest below

  1. Build as many projects, keep adding them to github and your portfolio website

  2. Have a 12 week plan ( check out 12 week year book summary )

  3. Start applying for jobs ( check y combinator jobs page ), once you’re bit comfortable but don’t wait too long ( avoid imposter syndrome )

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Man…I still have this problem to this day for sure. One video that really helped me understand how to use tutorial projects to my advantage with this video:

Are You Stuck In Tutorial Hell?

This dude right here really helped me put things into perspective. I remember when I couldn’t even start, and I would see my text editor all blank. I would look at tutorial on anything really and see what would be the first steps. I know with JS I would just start to declare variable and select my elements to use and then I would just search…“Oh how can I do this?” I would look at the code, I wouldn’t copy and paste, but WRITE IT OUT. I saw an article that shows that Instead of copy and pasting, you should type it out to get a better learning experience.

Don’t copy-paste code. Type it out. ?

I hope my thought process helps a little. Keep going bro, it may be hard out here, but they need people like us in the industry because we are go getters.

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I usually recommend what I call “going backwards”. Where you look at job postings in your area first. They can be your “end-game” goals that you build toward over time. You can even be applying to some you find as you go along and continue “building up” to your overall goal. These postings will probably vary in technologies, including those you may have already started learning, and probably new ones you will need to look into sooner or later.

The goal of this is to understand what those “next steps” are, and plan out a course on how you can learn all of that in the time frame you desire. Furthermore, you should be applying as you go along, as there are plenty of skills not mentioned in FCC, or in the job post. Stuff like how to write a resume, apply to jobs, do interviews, etc etc.

Ultimately your a web developer now, but you might not be “job ready” and are only deemed “job ready” once you get the job. You can tick all the boxes for a given job, but not get a hit due to any number of factors, some of which can be in your control, and some that aren’t.

The game plan you should take into the next year is building your own game plan on how to get hired as a web developer in a year. Just like any game plan, “no plan survives first contact with the enemy”, so plan ahead, keep learning, keep building, keep applying, keep searching and keep going.

1 year isn’t much time when all things are considered, but its plenty of time to waste, and plenty of time to use. You want to use the time you have as much as you can. Even if you don’t reach your deadline, you still gain valuable skills that can be used to apply to jobs after your deadline, or use later in life.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:

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Thanks, I will def build projects, have an active github, and a beefy portfolio website with all my projects. Let me check out the 12 week year book summary right now to get ready for the year.

@ClaudioBardales Thanks for sharing the video. I will watch it shortly. If I may ask how are you doing currently since you changed your approach? Did you get out of tutorial hell.

@bradtaniguchi thanks for your encouraging words. I feel like I got this now. Sometimes all we need is that motivation to keep going that changes everything

I can say that I feel more comfortable doing projects now. I know what to do and how to approach the basic procedure on how to even start. The stuff that I don’t know how to do I just look up and implement it, but I want to understand what I am adding first.

… once you’ve 12 week plan ready, start applying for full time job / internship with Y Combinator companies ( they need tons of engineers across globe )

Do not wait too long