My Experience of Escaping the Tutorial Island

After following endless tutorials where an instructor types some random code on their machine and you copy it, you haven’t made much progress.

You’ve been there, haven’t you?

Starting the Tutorial

I recently fell into this trap too.

Apple released their latest framework SwiftUI for iOS development and I did endless “beginner” level tutorials to start working with it.

But months after release, I hadn’t made much progress. I didn’t have a product of my own. Something I loved working on.

I decided to do something about it. This was my plan:

  • Start with a tutorial.
  • Think what I can do to make it creative and something I would love working on for months.
  • Work on it endlessly, with feedback from the iOS community on Twitter and the users.

I was doing this tutorial on Introduction to SwiftUI, where we create a game to match a given colour by moving the RGB sliders.

It’s an amazing tutorial and I really learned a lot following it.

Here’s the final app:

But, I wanted to work further on this. Working with SwiftUI was a great experience, and getting skilled with this particular framework would help me get a jumpstart on other developers.

So I decided to escape the tutorial island and work on my own project.

Ideation

In this game, we are dealing with matching with a single colour.

What if we make it more complex and match a gradient** **instead?

Two sets of sliders for two different types of colours!

I worked a day on this and came up with this design:

OK…it works!

But the design is uninspiring.

A friend reached out to me and sent a better design created with Sketch.

It was considerably better than the first version. Finally, I’d left the shore tutorial island!

I still had a long way to go, so used the power of the Twitter community! I tweeted for suggestions on the design with a link to the test flight (beta testing) of the app. I received insane amount of gold recommendations.

I worked on those recommendations one by one, working on another screen to show the introduction and features of my** “own” product.**

I added a stepper for precision, bigger gradients, and a simple beautiful design.

This is the final design of the current app, and my first product — Gradients Game.

I still have a long way to go, but I was succeeded in escaping the trap of tutorial island by building upon a tutorial with my creativity. I also learnt the basis of SwiftUI faster than I had expected!

Key Takeaways

  • Do *not *hesitate to work further on a tutorial. Use your creativity and time to modify the product.
  • When you work on your own project and are not spoon fed you explore. You explore the documentation, get help from the community, ask questions and learn a good deal more in the process.
  • It’s fun to put your soul into a project you love working on. The end product, whether a success or not, is the epitome of satisfaction!