Algorithm Learning Curve Advice Needed

I just started the basic algorithms. I’m finding that they are more challenging than I expected. Is this a sign that I’m not understanding the basic javascript well enough? Should I look at the answers for the algorithms I’m struggling with to try to understand them? Or go to another learning source (treehouse or udemy) and more thoroughly learn javascript and then come back to the algorithms?
Thanks for any advice!

Well I don’t think it’s the lack of knowledge of the language. For example I coded before FCC more or less I tried various programming languages but didn’t stick with them I was just getting my feet wet. At FCC I took it more seriously and at the moment I am at the Advanced Algorithms and they are quite challenging for me.
I went through the basic ones quite swiftly, but I suspect that was because of my prior knowledge of programming basics.

My advice? Don’t worry, don’t look at the solutions straight away when you don’t have an idea. Use the hints provided by the challenge guides. Also there are always references to useful language features that are useful for a particular challenge so you’re not only developing your problem solving skill but also broadening your toolkit in javascript.

1 Like

My advice is don’t quit this course. Run it along another resources. The method used here is to learn through practice mainly, and actually they encourage you to research more about the subject and apply it to every challenge.

Algorithms are hard. Some advice on learning stuff is that you only understand something when you can code it, which has some truth behind it.

Recently, I’ve been trying to learn some algorithms, and the pseudocode sometimes is a bit hard to read or visualize immediately. So luckily I’ve ran into a site VisuAlgo (, which is an interactive tutorial on foundational data structures and algorithms that I’ve found to be helpful.

Good luck!

Edit: There’s a forum post on hopefully helpful resources on learning data structures and algorithms Help Visualizing Data Structures and Algorithms

1 Like

I also had a really rough go of it when I started the Basic Algorithms… after struggling and starting to get frustrated, I hit pause and took the JavaScript course on CodeAcadamy. Its not terribly indepth, it only took me 2 days to finish it, but it did give me what I needed to set my head straight and I was able to get through the Basic Algorithms. It didnt make them easier…they were still challenging mind you! Just that I had a bit of a better idea of how to tackle them and didnt feel so lost.

1 Like

I am also currently working on the Basic Algorithms. The first several were extremely difficult for me. I had to look at all the hints, use other websites, and sometimes even look at the full answer before I finally understood what I needed to do. But they become progressively easier as you begin to better grasp all the functions and logic. And it takes a little time for your brain to rewire itself to process this new way of thinking.

A week ago I was spending an entire evening or two working on just one challenge. Tonight, I finished two algorithm challenges fairly quickly, and didn’t even look at the hints or any extra resources to finish one of them. Just keep trying and you will get it.


It’s hard for almost everyone to start out with, it takes time to get used to getting in the programmer mindset, as you continue learning and getting through the challenges you’ll learn more and get through the challenges more easily :slight_smile: