Learning Under Pressure
Now this is something I've been thinking a lot about lately. Learning from courses and following along with tutorial is fine, especially when you're just starting out, but, there comes a point when that is no longer sufficient. If you spend too long relying only on tutorials you're not only going to stagnate when it comes to improving your skill, you also risk of getting bored. As in other fields, if you feel like it's easy and you're feeling comfortable, that's a strong indication that you're doing something wrong.
|Think about it
It took me quite while to figure this out, for the first year of my learning I mostly relied on online tutorials, FreeCodeCamp, Udemy courses, etc. While I was still trying to get to know the basics learning from courses was fun and it felt secure and risk free. I really started learning when I began working on my first projects, for example, I was under impression that CSS layout was something impossible to learn but after making a few sites for friends I got the hang of it.
Recently I got a few freelance gigs, mostly WordPress stuff, as I'm still a padawan developer. While using pre-built themes and tweaking them is not exactly an impressive skill, making custom themes is more complex and pays better. Currently I'm working on two custom themes for clients which has proved to be quite the challenge. For the first theme I used a starter _s theme to hit the ground running and designed it according the client's specifications. Second theme proved to be more challenging, it was a conversion of a static site, built using Semantic UI front end framework, to a WordPress theme.
It started of easy, setting up the theme, adding includes, replacing HTML stuff in the head with WP built-in functions to make it dynamic, adding editable header images to the theme customizer, adding templates for different pages and adding loops and conditionals for displaying content from posts and pages. After that I faced challenges with adding more stuff to the customized, which proved to be an excellent opportunity to learn more about PHP in action. The project was completed successfully!
Thanks for reading!