I’m going through the ‘UMG UI Inventory’ video tutorial series to get myself familiar with UMG, and now I’m about half way through it has hit me why I’m not learning as much as I should be…
As we all know development is an iterative process where we build complexity on top of simplicy and iterate. You start off with a simple, partially working version and then you layer on functionality and complexity as you go. Refactoring your existing solution happens continuously. Errors are encountered and debugged.
But the tutorials are presented in such as way that there is no iteration at all, and no bug solving. The final solution is already fully worked out, and the tutorial simply presents how to build the final solution first time. It’s just rote learning… you go through the motions but you don’t understand the why’s.
This isn’t great.
We learn by doing, and making mistakes and refactoring our existing solutions is pivotal to that learning process. As much as the presenter of the tutorial can talk about why something is being built in such a manner, you don’t fully understand the reason for it until you encounter the problem that the solution is fixing. As the tutorial never refactors around problems the rationale for building something is such and such a way is often opaque and you don’t learn very effectively.
Conversely, the live training videos are quite good because the presenters often make mistakes and you see them solving problems live.
So, my request to Epic for future training series is to present them with iterative development rather than just as a final solution. This way of working more closely mirrors the real world process, and I think people will learn far more effectively.