Yesterday, I talked about when to take tutorials. Indirectly, I was suggesting a way to go about studying web development. Today, I make a second attempt at suggesting the way.

Have you ever heard the phrase I used for this post’s title before?

Focus on learning the 80%, not the 100%

I mean, I definitely butchered that because I really don’t remember how it goes.

But the point is that when you’re learning something, in this case web development, you can learn 80% of a specific topic way faster than you can learn the remaining 20% for that same topic. Makes sense?

In other words, the more you know about a specific topic or discipline, the harder and the more it takes you to learn what’s left.

Let’s take JavaScript, for example.

You can learn about variables, functions, if statements, for loops, and other fundamental topics in no time. But after that, when you start getting to more advacned topics like advanced array methods, prototype, closures, etc., then the going starts to get tough.

In my case, I think I’ve spent too much time trying to get to that 100% in HTML/CSS, JavaScript…which is good! But I could be building full-stack apps by now if I had just focused on the 80%.

What I’ve Been Doing

These last 2 days, I’ve revisited old lessons on Node.js, Express, EJS, and MongoDB. Doing this has enabled me to grab a huge chunk of another 80%.

While I invested the past 2 months or so trying to cover the 100% of HTML/CSS and JavaScript, with what I just reviewed plus the next days to come, at this same pace, I’ll be able to build a full-stack app.

Now that’s the power of the 80%.

The conclusion is, explore and go as deep as you desire. But if you’re a self-taught developer like me, trying to make a career out of this, then perhaps this is not the time for the 100%. It’s obviously up to you.