The DRUG of online tutorials

Me & my cat
dgls |

Have you ever felt like you're stumbling in the dark trying to learn a new concept? Like you know where you're trying to get to, but absolutely no idea how to get there?

This is an incredibly common feeling when learning about technology. The field is MASSIVE. It's ludicrously complicated. And to make matters even more difficult, it seems to be changing every few months.

This makes programming tricky to get started in. You have no idea what you should be looking for, what to Google, or how to find information about what you want to learn. At the same time, any information you do find doesn't seem to be trustworthy or dependable. You find a JavaScript article from 4 years ago, but when you apply what it says, people say you're doing it wrong, or "nobody does it like that anymore". Looking on Stack Overflow, all the answers point to jQuery. But nobody has used that since 2015. You feel lost.

The natural reaction is to reach for tutorials. These will hold your hand, and guide you to the promised land of programming literacy. Just study this course on Udemy. Just watch this video on YouTube. Just learn these few things. Then, you'll be set for a lucrative career in software.

They hook you in like a drug.

You spend hours finding the right videos to watch. The right course to buy. The right guides to follow online. You think you're understanding as you watch someone build an application using the skills you'd always hoped for.

And when you're done? You sit down. You think you know more than when you started (because, well, you do). But you still have no idea how to get started. You're still stumbling in the dark. You still have no idea how to get to where you want to go.

The solution? More courses. More learning. It's all a lie. It's not the way to learn. It's a way to waste your time spinning, getting nowhere.

All courses fall into the same trap. They sell you a dream, and hook you in like a drug. But they DON'T teach you the skills you need to succeed on your own. They keep you hooked because of this.

What's the solution? Come up with ideas of projects to build. It's tricky I know! Stumble in the dark. Find a mentor who can shine light where you need it. Contribute to open source projects. Take part in Hacktober. Do Advent of Code when it's Christmas.

But most importantly, enjoy your time there. Enjoy being blind. Enjoy every day being an adventure. Every day being a challenge. Learning new things until your brain hurts. Because this is what learning is about. And being a good programmer is about learning.