Learn by Creating
When I first started to learn Photoshop I had a hard time because I couldn’t think of anything specific to make. I worked through a huge number of tutorials, but soon reached a point where in order to continue learning I needed to start creating my own things.
Later after moving on to HTML and CSS I started because of a desire to create my own site. All of the tutorials and articles I followed revolved around actually getting my site launched (by the way, it was a terrible site). This gave focus and desire to my learning and everything took less time. Just having a project to build made all the difference.
In the last couple months I have decided to learn iOS (iPhone and iPad) development. Because I learn better by creating, my first step was to find a useful project to build. After skimming a basic Objective-C primer I was off putting together an interface, integrating a text-to-speech engine, and learning about data storage.
Eventually much of this code will have to be re-written, but that doesn’t matter. The important thing is that my learning was fueled by watching my app get more useful features added daily. It keeps me motivated and focused while learning. Try it. Learning through creating a project may work best for you as well.
P.S. This method will result in considerable frustration at times from code that refuses to compile. Though usually after a few hours I can sort it out. Either that or a more experienced developer can quickly point out what you are doing wrong.
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