Short on time for professional dev? Filter through more tutorials efficiently
I keep telling Jon, “every moment count, every moment brims with possibility and things I could accomplish.” If I don’t seize it, I see my schedule feeling the crunch and impending doom. I’m hoping this is temporary and soon my case of limbo subsides. To relieve some of that accumulated stress, I decided to take on an Adobe Illustrator tutorial to help flex my memory and (possibly) learn some new techniques.
If you’re as limited in time as I am but would still like to continue learning and improving as I do, maybe this checklist will help:
1. What’s the program?
Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom…
2. What’s the skill level?
Does it state anywhere if it’s for beginners, intermediate, advanced? At a glance, can you tell if it may be a good fit for you?
3.Why did you choose this tutorial? What would you like to take away from it?
If you’re not learning something new, then what? Is it a different way of thinking of what you already know? Is it reinforcing what you already know?
4. Read over the tutorial to make sure you understand it and feel like you can accomplish the product. Does anything sound unclear?
This remains to be my deciding factor. You don’t want to have to look at a sentence for 30 minutes trying to figure out what the hell the author was trying to say (like my dumbass). Truthfully, there are WAY too many tutorials for you to get stuck and start ripping your hair out (again, like my dumbass).
5. Is there a go-to person to answer any questions you may have (i.e. comments, contact page)?
Well, is there? For situations like the above, it would be nice to get a hold of someone, anyone to help you.
6. After completion, how you rate it? What did you actually learn from it?
There are a few times I actually repeat the tutorial and do it all over again, especially if it’s over a technique I really want to get down. But that’s ’cause I’m just weird like that.
Places I frequent for some decent tutorials:
- Vector diary
- Tutsplus, namely vectorplus and psdtuts
- Smashing mag (though this site has become more of a source of inspiration and insightful articles )
You don’t have to formally have this next to you written out but thinking about it can help when choosing what will help YOU.
P.S. This came out of a rant I had early Sunday morning around 3am when I came across a poorly written and edited tutorial for Illustrator (and no, I wasn’t half asleep. I had woke up at 1pm Saturday.) I usually am more careful when choosing but I was so interested in just learning something new jumping right into, that I didn’t bother to ask myself these questions. Which is sad, ’cause I wasted hours for nothing really. I haven’t been taking on too many graphic projects and my empty ”2012 folder” is proof.