Why Tutorials Won’t Make You a Professional Developer

Mastery comes from more than doing tutorials. Try, fail, learn, repeat!

Dev by RayRay
Oct 22, 2020 · 3 min read
Home work station
Home work station
Photo by MORAN on Unsplash.

Tutorials on topic X, Y, and Z. You see them everywhere on the web. I’m a tutorial writer myself. But just following them doesn’t mean you will be a professional developer.

I’m sorry if that has burst your bubble, but tutorials are simply not going to make you the professional developer you dream of becoming.

So what is the purpose of developer tutorials anyway? Why should or shouldn’t we follow them? In this article, I want to show you all the answers to these questions.

1. Why Do We Follow Tutorials?

Why do you follow tutorials about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or any other language, library, or framework?

Maybe you hope that this particular tutorial is going to give you a head start on the topic so you can save time. Or you quickly want to grab the idea or possibilities of that technique so you can implement it yourself.

Well, my answer would be to just get an introduction to a particular topic or to get inspiration from someone else’s solution to a problem.

But it should never be to make you a pro in technique X, Y, or Z because that’s not going to happen.

Clickbait titles like “I Became a Professional Developer With X in Just 5 Days” are not going to deliver on that promise. They will only make you familiar with certain techniques or terms.

So follow tutorials to get inspired, to learn something new, but never with the expectation to become a master from those tutorials alone.

2. What Will Make You a Professional Developer?

Now it’s clear that nobody is going to become a professional developer by only following tutorials. What will make you a professional developer? How can you become one?

In my opinion, that answer is very simple: Try, fail, learn, repeat.

Nothing more!

A professional or experienced developer has gone through this process a lot. And I mean a lot! Their entire career has probably been all about that.

So if you want to learn something about JavaScript, for example, you can follow a tutorial to learn the basics. After that, you need to practice it yourself several times. You need to make mistakes to learn how to handle errors.

It’s a natural process. Like babies grow up, learn to crawl, stand, walk, fall. So don’t be afraid to fail.

In my opinion, a professional developer is not afraid to tell you, “I don’t know.” A professional developer should be eager to learn by making mistakes.

3. What Should We Do Instead?

We all shouldn’t spend too much time on tutorials. No, we should spend most of our time building things.

Building things to try things out, to make mistakes, and to learn so we can build up our knowledge and experience.

Because that’s what has the most value in our jobs!

The next time you want to learn something new, build a small demo and search only for specific things like “how to use the arrow function in JavaScript” or “how to use CSS Grid” and pick what you need out of it.

After that, you must experiment with it as long as you need to understand how it works.


Thanks for reading! I hope you learned something new that can help you along the way to becoming a professional developer!

Do you want to learn JavaScript the easy way? I’m working on a set of project to teach you JavaScript in a low-barrier way, so you can build you own interactive ui components 👍

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

By Better Programming

A weekly newsletter sent every Friday with the best articles we published that week. Code tutorials, advice, career opportunities, and more! Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Thanks to Zack Shapiro

Dev by RayRay

Written by

I write stories about Frontend Dev, JavaScript, Typescript, Angular, NodeJS, Serverless Functions, JAM Stack, FaunaDB, Netlify, Apple, iOS— https://byrayray.dev

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

Dev by RayRay

Written by

I write stories about Frontend Dev, JavaScript, Typescript, Angular, NodeJS, Serverless Functions, JAM Stack, FaunaDB, Netlify, Apple, iOS— https://byrayray.dev

Better Programming

Advice for programmers.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store