by Xavier Russo, Strategy and Marketing Manager
In Praise of Side Projects

So you’ve got some useful creative or technical skills, plus a healthy work ethic—now what? Should you work in an established business? Become a freelancer or small business owner selling services to clients? Or invest in developing your own product business?

Put another way, how can you best convert your skills and time into the outcomes you seek in life?

Here’s what I’ve learned after trying out all three approaches. Your conclusions may be different to mine, but hopefully this perspective gets you thinking more broadly about the options you have available.

by Ian Yates, Tuts+ Editor
Tuts+ Translation Project

We recently launched the Tuts+ Translation Project, an initiative which has seen the Tuts+ community rally to translate, publish and share our tutorials.

The response has been overwhelming; not only from readers who are thrilled to see our content in their native tongue, but also from people across the whole world who have volunteered to help. In the last few months I’ve been working with a large team of individuals, who’ve so far published over 200 translations in sixteen languages.

And we’ve barely scratched the surface. During the course of this project I’ve learned a great many things, about language and people. Here are my top five!

by Jess Hooper, Content Quality Editor

Tuts+ publishes tutorials and courses on a vast range of topics, which can make it hard to keep track of what’s new if you’re looking to learn new skills in just one niche area. We’ve just released an important update to our email preference centre to make sure that we’re sending you emails that are relevant to the things you want to learn.

You can now choose the topics you’re interested in learning about, and we’ll customise the emails we send to match those interests.

by Ian Yates, Tuts+ Editor
Tuts+ Translation Project

Up until recently, all the tutorials on Tuts+ (there are nearly twenty thousand!) had one thing in common: they were all published in English. And that’s strange when you think about it, because our community is nothing if not global. 

We often get requests for translations via social channels, email, and in tutorial comments, and we also know that community members are already translating our tutorials so they can share them with their fellow countrymen and women. In response, we’ve launched the Tuts+ Translation Project, to meet the demand and share the hard work of our generous community members.

Now it’s possible for volunteers to translate whichever written tutorials they please. We take the translations, give them the once-over, then publish them so that they’re accessible via the original posts.

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.