nRF SDK and HAL

I am by no means a software expert, but I am pretty decent but I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the SDK/HAL and getting a project going.  I see the examples and even those vary depending on what they're doing.  For example, the heart rate example versus the Blink example even initializes the LED and turns them on differently.  Aside from modifying examples and reading the SDK documentation, how does everyone real start developing for Bluetooth on these modules?  Is there a certain process people use?  Any tips would help.  

For this development I've been using the BMD-300 dev kit that uses the nRF52832.  I am able to change out simple things like LED calls and Bluetooth parameters from the examples but I would be beyond lost trying to modify things extensively or start from scratch to make something simple.