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Tutorial Hell Will Destroy Your Career as a Web Developer

realchrissean profile image Chris Sean 🪐 ・2 min read

Let's get one thing out of the way. Tutorials are very important, because that's how you learn code. They're like your own private tutor. See what I did there? Kidding aside, the biggest mistake I made as a self-taught junior developer within my first 3 years is tutorial hell. I can't tell you guys how much this really screwed me over in my career.

The funny thing is that within my first 2 years on YouTube, I talked about tutorial hell. But I myself was in it. Because when I get used to having someone teach me, I wouldn't know if I can succeed without their help. And that's the thing. When you depend on them so much, you won't be able to believe or depend on yourself anymore. That's why I think that tutorials are like a drug; they're addicting.

To put this into perspective, my first paying job was $45,000 a year. And I stuck with that job for 2 years. My friend on the other hand was getting paid $90,000 a year in her first job, and she's been learning code for only 1 year. I didn't reach $70,000 - $120,000 a year until 4 years in. And it's because I was going by the pace that the tutorials taught me to follow.

That's why I say to only be on tutorials for 3-6 months and that's it. Just learn the basics and move on. Leave the tutorials and use documentation to learn more, like Stack Overflow and Google. Take what you learned and start doing small projects on your own. Don't rely on the tutorials too much or you'll be stuck in tutorial hell. And trust me, you don't want get stuck there.

If I had the guts back then to leave that place and learn to do things on my own, I could have been a senior developer years ago much faster.
Tutorial hell destroyed me, and that's my biggest regret as a junior developer. Do not make the mistake I did. So don't let the fear of failure stop you. Believe in yourself that you can do it and take that leap of faith. Doing things on your own is scary, I know. But you'll never know unless you try.

Chris Sean
Developer Relations Engineer @New Relic

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