Dev Retro 2022: How I overcame Tutorial Hell and started shipping Projects.

This is how I escaped tutorial hell and started pushing and shipping projects.

Dev Retro 2022: How I overcame Tutorial Hell and started shipping Projects.


Hello there, you may have clicked the post to know how I got over tutorial hell. But before I do that, lemme introduce who I am.

I'm Prince Adimado, a final-year Computer Science student in Ghana, at Accra Technical University. I'm also a community builder on my campus by being a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador (MLSA). Through this program by Microsoft, I have found a sense of purpose by learning and giving back to the community.

You may not know what this program is about or you'll like to know more about it. I have written an extensive article here on Hashnode on how to become a Microsoft Learn student Ambassador.

This write-up is actually a challenge here on Hashnode, whereas developers we're to share our journey in 2022, our achievements, and lessons learned so far. When I saw the challenge, I jumped straight to plan and start writing this write-up because I knew I had a story to tell. I hope you find this helpful and don't forget to like the post and leave a comment. Thank you

What is Tutorial Hell?

Since I have been in tutorial hell before, lemme share my side of what tutorial hell is. Tutorial Hell is when a newbie programmer jumps from one tutorial to another building the projects in each video without totally understanding what he is building and what's involved. He doesn't take time to consume content to fully understand the fundamentals to help him take on projects on his own with similar requirements.

He follows tutorials but at the end of the day, his self-confidence is low when it comes to those tools.

My Story

Somewhere in 2019, I started reading and watching videos on whether college or Bootcamp is good for learning how to become a Software Developer.

I started reading C++ without fear and writing down the example codes on paper. Because I didn't have a laptop by then. So fast forward I started my tertiary education in 2021. But in 2020, I attended a Bootcamp where they taught Python and Django. But still didn't have a laptop by then.
But I was confident that I wanted to study Computer Science because through the Bootcamp and YouTube videos, I knew what I was getting myself into.
So that's how got into Tech and now a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador. I consider I'm only one year into Tech because it has been a year since I had a laptop.

How I Overcame Tutorial Hell

So lemme get into Dev Retro 2022 proper, since this blog post is to share my journey so far in 2022.

Even though I have been building Django projects, by learning and building. I was in tutorial hell concerning my frontend skills
I could build a Django app but can't style it with CSS. Which made me lose out on one internship interview I went to. Though I failed that interview in July 2022. It was an experience for me.
So from January to September 2022, I was in tutorial hell and somehow abandon frontend tutorials. Why because I gave up, not necessarily giving up, but as I said in my explanation of tutorial hell above. I lost my self-confidence.
It was so real, I knew a little bit about CSS Grid but not much to fully build a full landing page.
So I was the JNR. Backend Developer whose CSS skills were rusty.
I heard about Scrimba from one of my friends and decided to try it out. On one Monday in October, I decided to take two courses on Scrimba.

That was Intro to HTML and Flexbox. I took the HTML course halfway through and completed the Flexbox tutorial in one day.

Hint: I didn't just complete the lessons, I built the example websites with the knowledge I acquired. Then I shared my progress on LinkedIn even though they were just basic.

After learning how to use Flexbox for making layouts, I decided to build projects. I didn't have to prototype the UI of a website.

I had an account on Frontend Mentor.
If this is your first time hearing about frontend Mentor, lemme share my experience with that platform with you.
Frontend Mentor is a Web app, that has a lot of free challenges and a collection of resources (both free and paid) to help you improve your frontend skills for free.
All you have to do is to create an account with your GitHub account and start a challenge.
They have from Newbie to intermediate challenges and a vibrant community to help you when you're facing difficulties in your challenge.

Click here to go to Frontend Mentor.

Back to the point, as I said I had an account on Frontend Mentor but but I wasn't taking on challenges for months.
Even though I completed my first challenge finally, I wrote some bad code even though it achieved my results.

The community on Frontend Mentor helped me through the comment section suggesting helpful tips to help me in future projects and adding links to their solution on GitHub.

Through Frontend Mentor, I consistently pushed my code to GitHub and I felt like a Dev.
I don't watch tutorials to build projects nowadays, I watch a tutorial to get my problem solved when I'm building a project. I feel like a Dev these days.

Internship Opportunity in November 2022.

As I said, I was consistently building projects and documenting on LinkedIn from Frontend Mentor Challenges.

As a result of this, I got an internship opportunity with a Tech Company called Afrilogic Solutions. Check out their website here.

I was tasked to clone the UI for DHL Ghana Landing Page and the requirement was, I should build it with React.

When I received the task, the same day I took a React for Beginners course on Scrimba. Even though I did complete two out of 4 Chapters of the course, I just needed to know my way around React and the instructor helped me in that Tutorial. I built every project he said I should build. After I put the course on hold to focus on my internship task.

I will surely go back to the tutorial to finish it.
So during my stay at the company, I ended up cloning two landing pages for the DHL Website for Ghana. I can say confidently that I'm better than in the previous months.

Lessons I've Learned so Far.

When it comes to tutorials, I won't say they're bad. The tutorials are very good. It will make you get started with a particular Technology. I haven't stopped learning how to do certain things from tutorials, especially as I mentioned if you're getting started.
As most content creators say in their videos, stop watching tutorial videos and start building projects and shipping.

Learn how to get started and start building projects of your own. Using the knowledge gained to build something cool.
Yes, you will face bugs, that's what Instructors will try to hide from you because they have already built the solution.

But if you know you're in for this Tech Journey. It isn't a journey for the faint-hearted. You will lose your self-confidence. You will go through burnout.
You will have to Google more than before and now with the ChatGPT, you will be getting answers from what the AI has to offer.

Don't stop building projects and learning new skills. Make sure your fundamentals are strong enough to learn a higher Technology. That is what my mentor always tells me.
We will surely make it as Software Developers or whatever field you're in.

Don't stop, if you do stop. You will have yourself to blame.

I could have stopped when I wasn't getting it. But press on like a Navy Seal in training.
If you don't understand a concept today, tomorrow you will. Let's keep at it.

Let's Conclude

If you have been able to make it this far, I say thank you very much. I hope my journey into Tech and how I overcame tutorial hell will push us all to higher heights.

We shouldn't stop by just watching a video tutorial but go the extra mile. It is in that extra mile that you solidify your knowledge of what has been taught. Also, try to network and build relationships with fellow developers in your community. They may explain concepts to you better.

Also do well, to check out Scrimba and Frontend Mentor. These platforms have been very helpful to me.