I got this question on Twitter: how to go projects from tutorials?
I think it’s interesting because I believe that to really learn a technology you need to build something with it.
You can’t just read tutorials, but some tutorials are still essential, of course.
No one is born knowing how to use something unless we are shown how to, or we dig into the documentation, or at an extreme case we understand how the thing is supposed to work, something that working with open source software we can actually do (but it’s easier said than done).
I learn new stuff every week, on a regular basis. It’s part of my job. It’s also something I just like doing.
Learning new things is my bread and butter. I then use this knowledge to create projects and software or to also teach this technology to other people.
But switching from learning something to actually building projects with it is challenging.
There is not a clear, visible line between reading/watching X tutorials and building the next Airbnb.
A tutorial gets you to one more advanced point than the one you started.
But at some point you need to start a project to move to the next level:
There’s an interval of mystery that overlaps between “ending tutorials phase” and “beginning project phase”.
And by “project” I mean also a sample web app to test your ideas, not necessarily a big or definitive project.
You can’t get to that next level without doing a project.
The famous saying “what got you here won’t get you there” is spot on.
You reach the point of diminishing returns and if you don’t stop just reading tutorials you’ll start forgetting stuff that is going to be applicable, and you’ll need to go back to reading tutorials anyway:
You’ll keep going back to tutorials, anyway. But for specific needs you’ll have while working on a project.
You just need to have an idea for a project. If you don’t have one yet, just think about it. Or check my list of sample app ideas.
Is it hard to go from following an IKEA furniture step-by-step instructions to building your own furniture from scratch? Oh yeah.
But if you never start, you’ll never get to that point.
Take your time, then just do it.
More lab tutorials:
- The stack I use to run this blog
- 8 good reasons to become a software developer
- SEO for developers writing blogs
- Review of the book The 4-Hour Work Week
- Build a lifestyle business
- Build your own platform
- As an indie maker, what kind of product should you build?
- Create your own job security
- Developers, learn marketing
- The freedom of a product business
- Generating value
- Have a purpose for your business
- The idea is nothing
- The niche
- Remote working for software developers
- Product / market fit
- The best podcasts for frontend developers
- Why should I create an email list?
- Disconnect time from money
- The scarcity principle applied to software products
- The social proof principle
- How I added Dark Mode to my website
- My notes on the Deep Work book
- The pros of using a boring stack
- How to estimate programming time
- On going independent as a developer
- How to learn how to learn
- Why interview questions for programming jobs are so difficult?
- Do I need a degree to be a programmer?
- Everyone can learn programming
- How to be productive
- How to get the real number of pageviews of a static site
- Have you filled a developer bucket today?
- How I record my videos
- All the software projects I made in the past
- Tutorial purgatory from the perspective of a tutorial maker
- Every developer should have a blog. Here’s why, and how to stick with it
- Having a business mindset for developers
- How to write Unmaintainable Code
- What is Imposter Syndrome
- How to work from home without going crazy
- How I prototype a Web Page
- You should be the worst developer in your team
- How to start a blog using Hugo
- Write what you don't know
- How to block distractions using uBlock Origin
- Coding is an art
- I wrote 1 blog post every day for 2 years. Here's 5 things I learned about SEO
- Dealing with the fire
- On being a generalist
- The Developer’s Dilemma
- My plan for being hired as a Go developer. In 2017
- Productivity gains of using a Mac and an iOS device
- How to go from tutorials to your own project
- This is my little Digital Garden
- How to start freelancing as a developer
- Sharing the Journey Towards Building a Software Product Business
- Subfolder vs subdomain
- How I use text expanding to save time
- Software is a superpower
- I love books