I spend a fair amount of my own time teaching myself to code and recently, trying to build an actual application that I plan to put online and have other people use. Recently, while I was in a bit of slump trying to make a major push on the app. I knew that the next stage - figuring out the DB structure and then coding a music quiz - was going to be difficult.
In fact I knew that it was going to be a grind and that the majority of the my weekend was going to be dedicated to reading out-dated Stack Overflow articles and struggling to find simple solutions to simple problems. But the day before, an incredible developer that I work with gave me a piece of advice I won’t be forgetting anytime soon:
The key to being a good developer is to be able to find your answer as quickly as possible without learning anything else.
To be honest, it hurt when I heard it because I literally have spent probably close to 100 hours so far looking for answers online and getting caught up into learning something else. You know how it is… because you don’t know what you don’t know it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that whatever you’re learning at the time is worthwhile. IT ISN’T.
The most important thing you need to do is launch a product. Finish you application, get the website live, etc. Anything that keeps you from it is a distraction that you’ll have plenty of time to learn about when you need to finish a project and that exact issue is stopping you from it.
Ever since then I’ve been much more productive because I don’t feel bad ignoring most of what I read about Rails and coding online - the same stuff that would have me worried that I don’t know enough.