All over the place. Help Steering Please

Hi all,

I’ve finally decided in my mid 40s that playing video games is boring. I looked for another hobby for a long long time and finally decided coding might be good. I learned SQL Programming at my job and it’s what I do for a living now. I like it.

Anyway I came to FCC and went through to the first couple of projects, finished the low level algorithms and a couple of the mid level. I sit and stare at the screen. I know I have the capability to process how to solve these algorithms but with little knowledge of the actual functions behind the solution I struggle. I know I need to do the research but have been hesitant. I think I need some see how these functions work first before completing all of them.

So I went to Udemy and I’ve purchases several full stack courses. I really enjoy them and code along on my own development setup but after a while I get bored or frustrated with the pacing. The first one I did was Colt Steele. I actually have his original boot camp and advanced boot camp. I really followed and understood the back end node.js express routing portions. I was coding along. At some point in the web camp project I got bored and looked for something different. Next I picked up Grider’s Node with React Full Stack Dev. In that one the first 8 hours or so go over Google Auth and man that was long and drawn out. I appreciate him explaining everything but at some point let’s get along with it. Just when I thought we were going into React there were some more very long drawn out diagrams of things. I was really really drained after that. Last night I picked up Maximillians React 16.

I’ve also watched hundreds of YouTube videos on the subject. I really like Traversy Media and Max’s channel

I know. I know. I’m all over the place. I’m a bit anxious to learn front to back and I would really love to work on a project to get me there.

Has anyone else had a similar train wreck of a path? Any advice?


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Choose a project (FCC or otherwise). Finish the project. Don’t start new projects until you’re done with the project. You’ve studied a lot, but can you do what you want to?

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It sounds like you need to focus on one path. Right now it sounds like you are paralyzed by too many options.

I teach jazz guitar as my day job. I sometimes get students that suffer from what I call “book-itis”. They have every book, every DVD, have signed up for every course, watch youtube videos for an hour a night, have transcribed the first seven and half bars of 127 famous solos… In some ways, it was easier 70 years ago. You learned your scales, practiced with a metronome, transcribed a couple solos from one of the 3 records you owned, and then went and played music.

Like Ariel, I say that you need to focus on one thing to completion. Pick one course and finish it. You can use outside sources to understand things, but that one course is the framework, your path. Don’t quit an app until you’ve finished it. Only work on one app at a time. In the real world, you may work on a few at a time, but you specifically need to learn the discipline of focus.

I think a lot about focus. My students often can’t focus on one thing for more than two minutes. I think it’s a sickness of the modern world, because we’re constantly bombarded by stimulation. Learn to focus. Set goals. Set goals for the year, month, week, day. Keep a journal of your progress. Have a plan. It’s OK if you don’t perform perfectly on schedule. Sometimes you finish early, sometimes late, sometimes the direction has to change. But have a plan and try to stick to it.


To me, this is the crux of your problem.

You think you’re learning, or progressing, and you think you know the material because you can code along while watching the video. Big mistake. At the end of the video course, you’d feel like you haven’t learned anything, then you go out and seek more materials… rinse and repeat.

Stop watching these videos.
Pick a practice project.
Work on it and code from scratch.
Refer to Reference manuals/website for help on specific commands that you need AT THE MOMENT.
Do not mimic what the video instructors did. You’re not really learning, you’re just memorizing/copying the steps they did.


I disagree with Owel, coding along on courses does help you to learn but you do need to put that knowledge into projects on your own.

Seem’s you really like the JavaScript ecosystem. Like Kevin Smith said. You need to learn to focus but the core of the JavaScript ecosystem is Vanilla JavaScript.

I would recommend three thing’s.

  1. Get a good code editor or IDE (VS Code, Visual Studio Community 2017, or even Atom) & install the GitHub extensions.
  2. Then use it to put all your code on GitHub. Make a habit of #NoZeroDays …everyday commit code to GitHub
  3. Lastly I would recommend you start with a comprehensive vanilla JavaScript course like one of the few I will post below. Always choose courses that provide exercises and projects for you to code.

Both of these courses are very comprehensive and provide many exercises/projects. Once you have a good understanding of Vanilla JavaScript then branch out to JavaScript Frameworks.


I agree with you about Stephen Grider. I explains well but I always play him on 1.5x or 2.0x speed. “That’s totally fine” :joy:

If I were you I would get completing some FCC full stack apps. You will learn much more that way.
You can use (the code from) some of the courses you have watched as a starting point.

Code-along video tutorials are great… as long as you really code along them and not just watch it and forget about them, and combine it with other learning tools.

The best way to me is learn the skill, then try to apply it in a “real world” context. Or hack it in a unexpected way. Have fun with it. Really use it, or you’ll forget it and have an ever-growing collection of half pages of scribbled lines.

As for sticking to a course from start to end… that’s just discipline. Sure, some might be spectacularly boring and makes you wonder why did you buy the course in the first place, but when opting out turns into a recurring issue, then you should focus on tactics and techniques to get the much needed focus and discipline.

Our brains are getting modified even at a neurological level for procrastination and shorter attention spans by the modern world, but we as developers need to find the way to fight it . Browse the forums and you’ll see people trying all sorts of things, from yoga and meditation, to martial arts and modern “life hacks”.
To me just setting strict schedules, daily objectives, keeping my mobile muted while working / studying and building a daily routine (that starts with physical activities) did the trick.

The psychological training of a developer can easily be overlooked, but it’s not a minor issue at all. Burnout / “loosing my passion” is an awfully common problem among developers, even between some of the greatest, as is procrastination and lack of focus.

So really guys, whenever you feel like loosing the grip, actively try to fight back.

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Thank you all very much for your responses and feedback. I really was coding right along with all of them. I do already use VSCode and have installed several JS related extensions. I also have git and github and used them to push updates. I even used one of Traversy Medias node videos to post one of my backend projects to a digitial oceon droplet and got it working. I’ve since deleted it as to not use my credits.

You are right that I just need to get to coding on my own now. I have setup my own personal website for family and bowling. It’s fairly simple but working.

I’ll go back to the FCC projects and get cracking on finishing them and heck maybe I can add in some things with all that I’ve learned. :wink:

Thanks for the video suggestions wmooney. I’ll check them out.

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