Am I just not cut out for coding?

Let me just say this struck a nerve with me, because sometimes I still feel this way, and I’ve been the lead front-end developer for a sizable Ember app for 2 years. Especially as I know there’s so much I don’t know! I’m working through the curriculum right now too, and have occasionally felt like I should just know something off the top of my head, but I don’t, and that’s ok. I search out an answer, and learn something new. Also, you probably know more than you think; we all struggle. Ignorance is bliss I. Some cases, as the more you learn, the more you see what more you can learn, and you become familiar with those who are really good at JS and think you’ll never get there.

But if it’s interesting to you, keep it up. I would recommend the online book “You Dont Know JS”, and this article is chock-a-block full of resources: “10 Priceless Resources for JavaScript Learners”

If you need help on any exercises, or questions on JS, I’m happy to answer if I can, hit me up any time on Twitter @jessdhines.


[quote=“whipdancer, post:15, topic:100991, full:true”]Sorry, I disagree with your premise that his code is overly-complicated (or wrong).

You might not like the choices made, but that’s a style issue. I, for instance, can’t stand multiple if-elseif statements. That is EXACTLY what switch is intended to solve.[/quote]

Sure, there are individual preferences, but there are also objective metrics by which to judge how good your code is (size, speed, correctness, and readability, the last of which is somewhat subjective but can be judged by objective tests of how quickly and accurately others can understand it).

Something like “single vs. double quotes” or “tabs or spaces” are more subjective (though even then they may have effects on some of the objective metrics).

I guess the only fully subjective qualities are things like how “beautiful” your code is, and that is truly in the eye of the beholder.

When I used to teach ski school we would tell students (especially adults) that if you weren’t falling, you weren’t learning. The reason that we had to tell this to adult students is that as adults we see “falling” as failing. Whether we are talking about skiing or coding mistakes are how we all learn. Its part of our nature to try something, see what doesn’t work and then try something new. It’s through the repetition of doing this that we learn.

I have been programming off and on since the mid-80’s started on a TRS-80 but just started with Javascript a couple of years ago and was thrown into the deep end on a project as I am not a professional software developer but a challenge at work came up and I was asked to solve it. It was developing a real time dashboard for a machine that we had in the manufacturing plant that used Angular and Firebase. Holy crap did I make a lot of mistakes but I learned. I have since then moved onto a start-up that I co-founded where I code in Node.js most days. I have rewritten the code base for the device I am responsible for 3 times so far, each time it gets better, more performant and easier to maintain/upgrade.

I am working my way through the material on Free Code Camp because I would like to become a better developer with a better understanding especially of the front-end as the one front-end project that I worked on was hacked together, it worked but man was it ugly. I hace spent the last 3 years writing node that runs on an embedded device so even though I know node pretty well I have never really used it to develop back-end code so looking forward to learning that and making lots of mistakes along the way. Another thing that I have been trying to get better at is writing tests for my code so that I know when we make upgrades we aren’t breaking something somewhere else. I have been using the TDD lessons at to get better at testing which is another good way to solve these challenges, if you can write code that passes the test, even if its ugly you can figure out how to make it cleaner and still pass the tests.

Long way to say, just keep trying and know that it takes years to master this stuff. I still look up stupid simple stuff on a regular basis because let’s be honest, its a lot to just remember. The most improtant thing that I remember from being in school for engineering is NOT to try to remember everything, know where to go find the answer and how to read the answer. Trying to remember everything is how major mistakes occur.


If you enjoy the moments when frustration becomes A-HA moment, and you learn something that you couldn’t understand a couple of minutes/hours/days/weeks ago, then stick with it.

I’m 6 months into the whole web programming thing, I am a slow learner, and I suck at most things I do even today, but I enjoy it and even if I get just a tiny little bit better than I was yesterday, I call it a good day.

It’s hard, but it is rewarding, both as a career and as a hobby.
Enjoy learning, and creating and making beatiful things with the knowledge that you gain. Do not compare yourself to others a lot, compare yourself to your yesterdays self and keep on coding!


Hey I am not that experienced in coding started 2 years back in Java(school curriculum and more) being doing HTML and CSS for a good amount of time around 4 years but still make some of those silly mistakes while writing code and as time goes and you keep practicing you’ll improve as a lot of people do everyday.


Also new to coding, some really encouraging responses. I sounds like I hit the same wall you did. Yes, I thought HTML, Bootstrap, CSS were all pretty easy and then JavaScript happened. I just want to learn how to code for a non-profit and do some open source stuff someday. I’m not looking to become a professional coder. Take it easy on yourself, study, have fun, ask questions, but never stop practicing. I’ll get there and so will you. Free Code Camp is something I’m really proud to be a small part and you should be too. Your surrounded by friends that genuinely want you to succeed and are here to help.


THIS HAS MADE MY DAY! (not because your worries makes me happy @ROBUSTO8) but I am just two months into learning and reading these positive and supportive comments to you has really cheered me up. Thank you for highlighting the panic I feel every time that I know I should just ‘get it’ but I don’t. It takes me time, research, asking a friend and then posting on the forum to understand and more often than not I kick myself because if I’d just READ the task properly I might actually get it! I have to remind myself to slow down, read the question and breathe pretty much every time I begin to freak out.

I hope you find these comments as helpful and motivating as I have!

Keep coding, remember how far you’ve come and don’t forget that we’re all in it together.


Everybody can be a programmer! dont worry we all have that moment of frustation, also not all programmers are javascript genius, maybe you are better in something else.

Maybe try to be better at css, you dont need to be a designet to do a better style to the page or maybe you will be better at backend, like myself, while I have a difficult time with javascript I do love to work with PHP and MySQL, SQL is awesome!.

I believe all the humans can be programmer, is not about learning a language, is about to learning to think and resolve a problem. Investigate and keep coding, maybe now you cant find the answers to the problems but in 6 months you will understand more.
Also have fun, try code combat when you get frustrated, is a nice way to practice js.

1 Like

I also started about 3 months ago and pretty much have the same idea you have, work on codecademy and then move over to FCC to review and improve. I am not as far along as you are but I have had plenty of dumb moments. I read a blog post about learning to code that brought up the 10,000 hours rule. We may never reach coding genius but we have a lot of work to put into learning code before we can get too down on ourselves. Also if you know you have mistakes and you have the ability to collaborate to get yourself un-stuck you are pretty skilled. Good luck.


Sure…Can’t find a better way of saying it like yours. It’s true the mind is always afraid of new things - the unknowns. But if we just tell it that it will be okay, we will begin to make progress.

Sometimes I do feel like quitting, but then I keep walking. And tell you what? The dots always connect looking back.

Best advice, thanks a lot would definitely work on having a diagram or flow chart to start with before attempting to code.

There is nothing wrong with a mentor giving you a hint. I like to think that I get more from failing than I do from breezing through stuff. Going the long way round is the best way to understand why there is an easier implementation.

1 Like

Guys, I was attempting something I saw in a JS book (about calling a function within itself) on that factorial exercise, and it seems I just created an endless loop. Now my browser just hangs whenever I try to open, I literally have run out of ideas. Please any ideas? Anyone?

It’s possible that you aren’t cut out for coding.

Bear in mind I’d say the exact same thing to someone with 3 months experience that said found everything easy. (Actually, I might be even more skeptical of that fictitious person.)

It may cut against consensus on FCC, but I don’t agree that everyone can be a good programmer.

With all that said, based on your OP, you’re doing fine. These are normal issues for someone new to the field. What matters is that you are learning and getting better, and perhaps even more importantly that you are enjoying the process of learning and getting better.

Everyone* started by making silly errors and missing easy optimizations. Don’t sweat that. Are you still making those same silly errors in 6 months? Then maybe worry. Ideally in 6 months you should be on to making different and new silly errors.

*(Presumably there are savants out there who never made any such errors, though I’ve never met one.)

I have very limited formal coding skills and a bunch of informal. I’m some 24 year old who spent a lot of my childhood/teen years screwing about with games and breaking them and building nonsense on my mother’s work computer.

But, in my experience - you might not ever feel you’re good at this. But, you will definitely be able to solve problems, by yourself, and with others. That seems pretty cool to me, even if I do spend along time asking myself ‘…and what have I just done to make this not work?’

I’ve been feeling the same way and also haven’t been learning to code for long. I made the same “mistake” of writing out the Counting Cards code with a switch statement. I often forget that there’s not just one way to problem solve. I just get caught up trying to figure out which method is best and trying to make the “perfect” code instead of just trying and failing and trying again.

After reading through all the comments I feel silly for thinking that I may not be cut out for coding. I have a lot of trouble with the basic problem solving aspect of coding because I complicate things. Thinking about breaking down these challenges step by step and even writing out pseudo code is such a great idea and in time will just come naturally. I have this trouble every time I start something new: I look at people who have been studying for years and compare my abilities with them which is a terrible idea.

It’s not a mistake if the test cases pass - using a switch with fall-through cases is perfectly valid - you’d be surprised how often it is found in highly advanced software

I wrote this about problem solving just a little while ago

That site looks pretty cool! Thanks for sharing.

1 Like

Something similar happened to me. I opened free code camp in incognito mode and partially redid the problem and then signed in with my user name and password. This fixed the problem of free code camp freezing when it automatically pulled up the incorrect code I had written. Hope this helps!