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.

Tuts+ Tidbits February

Here’s the scoop on what’s been going on this month on Tuts+.

  • The big news comes first. All of our free tutorials, interviews, resources and articles are now moved across to the new Tuts+ design! Check it out over at hub.tutsplus.com.
  • In line with that move, we tweaked a couple of things in our Privacy Policy, and added a statement about cookies (point 4.) to the ‘Behavioral Advertising and Cookies’ section.
  • For a limited time only, you can get yourself some sweet Tuts+ gear: t-shirts! Featuring a design by the very stylish Jacob Zinman-Jeanes, they’re bound to be a wardrobe staple.
  • We’re continuing to move the Tuts+ Premium library over to courses.tutsplus.com. New courses available for individual purchase include Photoshop for Photographers, Getting Good with Grunt and Magento Fundamentals. Heaps to learn!
  • We’ve got not one but TWO new free courses. Fundamentals of Photography, with photo & video expert David Bode, and Vector Portraits for Beginners with our very own vector superstar Sharon Milne.
  • There are some new faces on the Tuts+ team! A big welcome to Amanda (who’ll be working on web dev courses) and Steph (who’ll be tackling support, QA and community development, among other things).
There’s a lot going on in HQ at the moment, so check back soon! 

— Jess Hooper

Tuts+ is part of Envato’s ecosystem of sites, designed to help people all over the world learn new skills and build their own businesses online. Envato’s CEO has a question for you: what should our vision be for 2020?

As a company built around fostering communities, it’s important that we involve everyone who uses our sites in this discussion. To have your say, check out the entire post over on Inside Envato, and leave a comment or fill out the form linked there. 

by David Appleyard, Tuts+ Editorial Manager
Looking Back and Looking Forward

The past year has been an exciting time for Tuts+. We started the first chapter in a story that we plan to continue for years to come and, although we’re just getting going, it’s good to take a look back as a new year begins!

by Xavier Russo, Strategy and Marketing Manager

Today I’m pleased to announce that selected courses from Tuts+ are now available for individual purchase on courses.tutsplus.com for just $15 each, together with a growing range of free courses. This is all about additional choice: previously you could subscribe on Tuts+ Premium to access all courses but only for a limited period of time, and now you have the extra alternative of buying an individual course for long-term access.

This is a fairly big change for us, so I wanted to take a few minutes to share why we’re doing it and how input from our readers has guided these decisions. I’d also like to explain our philosophy on simple, straightforward pricing, and why you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for a discount coupon.

by Jacob Zinman-Jeanes, Tuts+ Creative Lead
One of the hobbies I don't have is gardening

Nobody has ever asked me if I have hobbies. I assume that this is poor luck on my part, rather than any lack of interest on theirs. Either way, I have expended much mental energy on making the decision that if somebody were to ask me about my hobbies, I would tell them that I don’t have any.

My luxury, as a designer, is that my avocations intersect neatly with my working life. I play music, I paint, I collect nice clothing, and I own lots of mid-century furniture. These things inform my sense of creative style, and create an atmosphere that inspires me—something which I think is vital to my development as a creative individual.

I take the things I do outside of work seriously. I dedicate myself to them. I have pride in the outputs of my time and effort—be it artwork, music, or putting some water on a plant (read: gardening) and watching it blossom (read: wilt). To me, calling that output (whether successful or not), the product of a ‘hobby’ devalues it.

It isn’t the concept of a hobby that I find disagreeable, it’s the implication of the word. Calling my pursuits ‘hobbies’ minimises accountability, minimises the effect of failure, and maybe even minimises the personal value that I assign to those pursuits. A hobby is a mindset of which I want no part.

That is why I do not have hobbies. Instead, I have passions and interests, and things that I spend too much time and money on. And they’re all worth so much more to me than a hobby could be.

imageJacob Zinman-Jeanes is the Tuts+ Creative Lead. He is a designer, illustrator and musician. You can find him on his website, and Twitter.
Monday Morning Roundup

The Tuts+ team are a diverse bunch, with a whole variety of interests and fields of expertise. Here’s a roundup of what’s caught their eye over the weekend. I recommend pairing it with a nice cup of coffee for a bit of first-thing learning.

Hope you’ve got a good week in store! 

— Jess Hooper

by David Appleyard, Tuts+ Editorial Manager
Tuts+ and Envato Marketplaces staff and community meet in London

Although our tutorials and courses reach millions of people every month, the opportunity to meet our readers in person doesn’t come around as often as I’d like. The same is true for our editorial team. We have over twenty editors around the world, from the UK and France, to Thailand and Australia. We talk regularly on Skype, but it’s never quite the same as meeting in person for a few days.

This month, we organised a joint Tuts+ and Envato Marketplaces meetup in London—our first event in the UK. We flew in our editorial team from across Europe to attend a community night for local Tuts+ readers and Envato Marketplace buyers and authors.

by Jess Hooper, Content Quality Editor
Welcome to the new Tuts+ Blog

This is the very first post of the new Tuts+ staff blog. Welcome to the maiden voyage! We’re glad you’re here.

Tuts+ has been around for more than six years now, growing in that time from one little blog teaching Photoshop skills to a giant network teaching all kinds of things. I’m not going to attempt to summarise six years of changes, more than 15,000 posts and 600 hours of video course learning, the hard work of thousands of talented instructors and contributors, and everything that Tuts+ means to us in one post. Nowadays, the picture is too big to describe all at once.

This blog is our place to start talking about that big picture in small chunks. We’re coming full circle—from one little blog, to a huge educational network, to another little blog—so that we have a place to connect the dots, and talk about our interests and the things that make us tick. But most of all, to take a step back and look at the whole of Tuts+ and what it means to teach and learn.

We’re all excited to be here, and I’m thrilled to be the one smashing the proverbial bottle of champagne over the bow of this little ship. It’s going to be an adventure!

Jess HooperJess Hooper edits this blog, and is the Tuts+ Content Quality Editor. She’s a serial dabbler with too many hobbies. You can find her on her website or on Twitter.