When we have blockers and use Hint to check for solutions, don’t just do it to move to the next exercise. Dive deeper, break down the solutions to help yourself understand why and how it was solved.
Rather than simply taking the solution and being ‘oh yeah, that works. I think I get it!’ and moving on, as you say, slow down. Analyze the code you see. Change it a little, see what breaks or what changes. Add comments, in your own words, on what each line/function actually does.
Often, if I get stuck when I’m coding, I’ll stop and just write comments. I’ll try to pseudocode the solution, getting from A to B in comments. Then I’ll start writing code, using my comments as a guideline. Things will break, they often do, but having the comments helps me to remember what it is I want, what I’m expecting this line/function to do.
Doing that not only allows me to understand what my code should do, but if others come across it, it will help them to understand my intent, and potentially help with debugging if necessary.
Another thing that I recommend with the FCC lessons, download them, or copy/paste them. I’ve created a directory on https://repl.it/ with most of the lessons that took a while, or had new concepts. I will sometimes revisit them, often with an eye toward ‘how can I rewrite this one better?’
Thanks for making it clear