5 Ways to Get out of Tutorial Hell

Tutorial hell…the dreaded space where you watch tutorials endlessly, and you feel like you’re learning so much! The only problem? You can’t seem to build anything on your own. You get out your code editor, and you don’t know the first thing to write!

Why is this happening?

First of all, when you watch tutorials, they are giving you all the answers. To master a skill, you need to implement more than you consume.

Can you imagine just watching videos of dance moves and never trying them yourself? You would never improve at dancing or be able to dance a routine.

And yet this is exactly what so many people do! Is it any surprise then that you haven’t improved as much as you want?

Luckily, you can get out of this!

Here are 5 ways to start implementing what you’ve learned.

1. Start Coding

Think of one thing you know how to do and do it. Can you change the colour of a heading? Can you add borders to something? Great! Do it now. None of it has to look pretty or complete.

2. Find exercises to do online.

Search for “{programming language} exercises”. Many kind people have compiled exercises and questions for you to practice coding.

Here are a few resources I recommend:

  • Rithm School Free Courses – Has exercises with solutions in each course (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React, Python)
  • W3Resources – Exercises with Online Code Editor – Has exercises in a range of difficulty – HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby, PHP, Python and more.
  • W3School – Has exercises and quizzes for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, PHP and more. Exercises are grouped by topics, so you can focus on one area.

3. Practice recalling after a tutorial.

Watch a tutorial, then write down all the steps you remember. Write down what you have learned. Re-watch the tutorial to see what you’ve missed.

Recall the steps again the next day, review your notes to see how much you remember.

This will help you learn so much more than watching more tutorials.

You can also look for interview questions as many of them test how well you know your programming language!

4. Test yourself with interview questions.

Many interview questions test your understanding of code snippets and nuances of a programming language.

All of this is essential to being a great developer. You don’t have to be looking for a job to use them to improve your programming skills!

You can find them by searching “{programming language} interview questions”.

5. Pseudo-code.

This is the process where you break down the steps of what you need to do BEFORE you code. It’s the pre-requisite to writing code that works, so it’s actually more important than learning a specific language.

You can practice pseudo-coding without coding too, so this can be an effective way to practice when you’re low on time.

For example, look at a web page (or just one section) and write down all the steps you’re going to take to build it.

Or if you’re solving a coding problem, write down all the arguments and variables you’re going to need to use and how you’re going to get the answer.

All of these ways are getting you to think, recall and exercise your problem solving skills. You’ll need all of these skills to start building your own projects. Start by building your foundation with easier problems first.

Now stop watching tutorials and try out one of these steps today!

Hi, I'm Jenny. I'm a developer with 3 years of experience. Welcome to the most supportive community for female developers!

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