Advice for those struggling to learn programming

The new year and Quincy’s new book have brought in a lot more people wanting to learn programming or get back into programming which I think is great :slight_smile:

But I have also seen an uptick in the number of people expressing concern over learning how to code and struggling with it.

I figured I would address the common questions and concerns brought up on the forum.

I am having a hard time memorizing all of the methods. Is programming for me?

Programming is not about memorizing.
Professional developers look things up all of the time and it is impossible to memorize it all.
There is way to much to remember.
The goal is to first develop a basic understanding. A deeper understanding of the material will come later when you have build more projects and solved more problems with code.
Get used to looking things up when you forget certain methods.

In the early days, you will probably find yourself googling stuff like this:

  • How do I center a div?
  • How do I add items to an array?
  • How to remove an item from an object?

It is important to practice and remember that over time, you will start to remember more things but there will still be times where you will need to look something up and that is totally fine.

I am struggling with JavaScript and finding it hard to arrive a solution. Is this normal?


I can’t tell you how many posts I have seen over the years with this exact same question.
I am here to tell you that you are not alone.
Most people will struggle with learning their first programming language.
There is a lot of new information being thrown your way so it is normal to struggle with that.

The key is take it one step at a time and one challenge at a time.
If you get stuck, reach out to the forum for help and we can help you spot the errors in your code and help you understand how the problem is supposed to work.
We can’t flat out give you the answer but we can walk along side you and help you arrive at the correct answer through hints.

I am struggling with get started with the projects. Should I repeat the course?

Building projects on your own is a big step from working through small challenges.
The new project based curriculum is helping to bridge that gap but it will still take some time getting used to how to build projects on your own.

My advice is the break the project down into small peices and tackle it one small peice at at time.
If you don’t know how to do a certain part of the project, then google it.
For example, you might find yourself googling “How to center an image” and arriving at dozens of articles showing you how to do that.

By taking that approach, you will be able to build out projects one baby step at a time.
Building projects is the best way to learn and grow as a developer.

It is taking me a long time to learn programming and I struggle a lot. Can I actually become a self taught developer and land a job?

For most people, it will take a while to get comfortable with programming and land a developer job. It is important to stick to a pace that works for you.

I started learning how to code with freeCodeCamp back in 2020 and now work full time as a software developer. Things didn’t come easy to me and I too struggled with learning the concepts and doubted if I could actually learn this stuff.

Here is a list of some things I struggled with but was able to learn with enough practice and perseverance.

  • I struggled with building out the first few projects because I was forgetting a lot of the HTML and CSS concepts and didn’t know how to ask for help or google things.
  • I struggled with both algorithm sections and had no clue how to solve the problems. I ended spending a lot of time on each challenge because I didn’t know how to problem solve yet.
  • I also struggled with the regular expressions section and ended up doing that section twice before it started to make sense.
  • I hated React when I first started learning it because I couldn’t understand how to do basic things with it. I eventually learned that a large part of my struggle came from my shaky understanding of JavaScript so I studied more to fill in the gaps.
  • it took a while to understand how databases and servers worked.
  • When I started building out personal projects, I was running into errors every 20 minutes or so and started to think I would never be able to build something on my own.

Remember that programming is hard and it takes time to learn this stuff.

Hope that helps! :+1:


Thank you for this, currently struggling to be consistent in learning python, but we need to, we have to

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