Tuts+ Birthday Bundle

Things are a little festive around the Tuts+ and Envato offices this week as we celebrate our 8th birthday. As you know, the best thing about birthdays (aside from the wisdom of age) is presents. And it’s always better to give presents than to receive them.

So in true Tuts+ style we’d like to give you the gift of learning to help celebrate our birthday. For one week only, we’ve put together two birthday bundles, each with six of our most popular courses, for just $20. That’s a saving of $70 from the individual course prices!

Our code birthday bundle features a selection of code courses, covering everything from Chrome DevTools to Building Web Apps with Node, while our design birthday bundle combines some of our most popular design courses, including Advanced Vector Portraits and Photoshop Essentials.

These bundles are only available for a limited time (13 August to 20 August) and then they’ll be gone forever, just like our birthday cake. Make sure you get in quick!

by Xavier Russo, Strategy and Marketing Manager

Since Tuts+ started back in 2007, we’ve cared deeply about keeping learning affordable and about listening to our community. Today we’re making changes that reflect both of these commitments:

These changes are in addition to our significant ongoing investment in publishing free tutorials, of which there are now over 18,000 available on Tuts+ across various creative and technical fields.

by Jess Hooper, Content Quality Editor

Pitching ain’t easy. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward when it comes to sending in a pitch, direct from the Tuts+ editorial team.

1. We need to know two things: who are you, and what is the story?

Come prepared, and make me want to read or learn from you! Beyond that, I want some indication that you’ve taken the format of my publication and needs of my audience into consideration when crafting your pitch.

– Jackson Couse, Tuts+ Photography Editor

2. Be realistic about what you’re equipped to write about, and go with your strongest suit.

When a new author contacts me, I first ask them about their technical background to get a better idea of what they could write about. It’s important to know if someone is actually qualified to write about a particular topic, because it happens fairly often that an author wants to write about a subject that they just started to learn about.

– Bart Jacobs, Tuts+ Mobile Development Editor

3. We’re looking for skill, experience and enthusiasm, not a fully finished piece of work.

Receiving a pitch, I’m mostly looking for angle, not detail. Where is this going to go? That’s the big question. If you need to, give me detail to show the direction you’re taking. Otherwise, keep it high-level. We can dig into the details if I ask you for them.

– Jackson Couse, Tuts+ Photography Editor

The specific topic you pitch isn’t actually that important; I might have to pass on it for being too close to something we’ve currently got in the works, or too similar to something we’ve published in the past. What I look for is your ability to come up with ideas that are in line with what we publish.

– Michael James Williams, Tuts+ Game Development Editor

Morning Fun Link Roundup

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of what’s been making headlines around the world of Tuts+ in the past few weeks: 

Until next time, happy learning!

— Steph Dyhin

by Nicole Bowes, Tuts+ Marketing & Partnerships Coordinator

The 4th of August will mark the start of our new streamlined Twitter accounts. For years now we’ve run multiple Twitter accounts based on our old blog style site setup. So in the past if you’ve been interested in design and illustration you’ve had to follow both @psdtuts and @vectortuts to ensure you were up to date on all of the latest tutorials and courses relevant to you. With the launch of the new Tuts+ website we feel it’s time to pull our social media accounts into line to give you one account per interest to follow.

by Jess Hooper, Tuts+ Content Editor
Envato Live, Chicago. Make things. Together.

The Tuts+ Head Office is based in Melbourne, however most of our editorial and instructor team work remotely, from all over the world. We meet via Skype, Google Hangout or Slack, and collaborate using Trello, Basecamp, and Google Documents.

This flexibility in approach is a huge part of our culture at Tuts+, and it opens up many opportunities for our team to work where it suits them best. Web Design Editor Ian Yates “went freelance” in 2007 after leaving an office job in Rotterdam, and now spends his time moving from one picturesque European location to another. David Appleyard (Tuts+ Editorial Manager) loves the flexibility and the benefits of never missing an Amazon Prime delivery. WordPress Editor Tom McFarlin prefers a quiet space in Atlanta, and the ability to spend time at home with his wife and kids.

That said, they all say that when you’re working remotely, it’s easy to get stuck in your own bubble. It’s important to set routines to get yourself in the right headspace for working productively, and to combat the physical isolation with other types of communication.

by Nicole Bowes, Tuts+ Marketing & Partnerships Coordinator

Today marks a big milestone in the Tuts+ history books. After our launch in 2007, the Tuts+ network expanded rapidly into 16 individual sites including the subscription-based Tuts+ Premium. Today we’ve finally brought it all back to one platform and brand, after a year-long consolidation process.

Tuts+ from sixteen brands to one

The final step has been the merge of Tuts+ Premium into our new Tuts+ platform, making our 16,000 tutorials and articles, 300+ courses, and 100+ ebooks available in one place, viewed by over 5 million people every month.

by Rey Bango, Tuts+ Code Editor
Slowing Down the Web Developer's Hamster Wheel

Last year I wrote an article called The Learning Conundrum which described some of the concerns, frustrations, and fears I (and apparently many others) had in regards to the fast rate of change in our industry. The issue struck such a chord with readers that I followed it up with a presentation at O’Reilly’s Ignite at Fluent event which touched on this. I was happy to have several people thank me for talking about this—it made me feel I wasn’t alone.

by Sharon Milne, Tuts+ Vector & Drawing Editor
Why It Pays to Write Tutorials

I’ve been obsessed with vector art for over 10 years now. When I say obsessed, I mean that I have sat with nothing on my mind, scanning the room for objects which would be interesting to render in vector. I’ve had dreams where I’m a tool in Adobe Illustrator. I’ve often stared at people in public thinking, “Damn, they’d make an awesome subject for a vector portrait.” There’s nothing I find more relaxing than to vector a complex illustration.

If we rewind back to four years ago, I wasn’t in the line of work I am now. I was in a government job, doing monotonous tasks I had no passion for. I would have loved to make a career out of my passion—I just lacked confidence. I was confident enough to post my illustrations online in the usual art communities out there and had even built up a following of thousands, but when it came to the idea of people paying for my work, I didn’t think I was good enough. I had an interest in writing tutorials and, within the communities I was a part of, I used to share the odd trick or tip for others. I got a kick out of helping people learn.

When I first started looking at becoming a freelancer, I looked at the paths of others in my field. I asked questions about how they got started, and many came back saying they entered the freelance world by writing tutorials. It seemed natural for me to take a similar path.

by Matt Ward, Tuts+ Software Developer
Tuts+ report card

Now that we’re charging into 2014, it feels only befitting to stop and reflect on the year just gone, and look a little closer at our achievements. Sometimes we’re all too focused on delivering “things” and staying abreast in our respective fields to be able to recognise each other’s efforts, and the accomplishments we have been able to achieve as a team.

The Tuts+ library continues to expand yearly and it was only during the recent migration to the new Tuts+ design that the technical team started to truly appreciate the sheer volume of content that has been accumulated.

In the past six years we have published 17,817 posts contributed by a global collective of 2,699 authors across 13 topics (excluding Tuts+ Premium). These numbers are truly remarkable and the best part is that all this learning material is available to everyone for free! This article serves to recognise some of the efforts of the members of our team and community.