Am I on the right track?

I started to code this Oct 18 and I have ZERO experience in coding but so far I’ve finished challenges “HTML5 and CSS, Responsive design with bootstrap” I can understand a “little bit” about coding now and hopefully I in the future I can be an expert in coding. Right now I am highly motivated to learn here at FCC and from you guys (fellow campers). I’m not sure if I’m just being paranoid, but I feel really upset when I forget the “code” for certain elements and how to make it work, and whenever I start from scratch again like the challenge before “Responsive design with bootstrap” ended where you will be over with the “CatPhotoApp” and start again for the preparation for the next topic “jQuery” I got really upset because I can’t recall most of the “codes” and what I did is I came back to the challenges I’ve finished and review the code by analyzing and I ending up on feeling upset and the only thing that’s on my mind was “how could I forget that”. So I think my question is, is it normal that I feel this way? and do any of you guys have any advice for a total beginner like me to like memorize the certain “codes” for the elements and do you think it’s normal that I feel this way? Thank you in advance! :smile:


It is the most normal. You will never be able to know every detail of every element you are creating.

The trick is to learn to search for and find out what you need and you will get faster and faster at it. Also, since you did it once before you won’t have to read the entire code you wrote before because you will (most of the time) remember what it does.


@dampish I wouldn’t worry if you forget something. It’s hard to retain and remember any type of knowledge if you are not using it regularly. You can always do a Google search to look things up. I use these links to help refresh my remember.

jQuery Quick API Reference



It’s very, very easy to complete a challenge and want to start right in on the next one.

But the fact is that you should probably do that same/similar challenge that you just passed 5,10,15 times - from scratch - so that you can get used to the process and use of various tags/attributes, etc. Or, if you can resist going on to the next challenge, do 5 or 10 of them, then come back and do them again.

I’ve always built my sites with my own CSS … but now I am playing with bootstrap for the first time and building a whole site with it so that I can see how/where I can best make use of it. What pitfalls I might run into, how can I use it as a base and customize it, etc. Yesterday I was looking into the Markdown language … so I installed Pandoc, a program that can take Markdown and output HTML. And I spent a couple of hours reading the syntax documentation and tinkering with a simple file and looking at the output, etc.

I didn’t learn to code with FCC - I’m here because I like to learn and know I don’t know everything and FCC offers things that I haven’t looked at before. What I did to learn is I studied a lot of books. And when that book included a code example, I typed the entire thing in myself and made sure it was working. That way I got used to typing the syntax, what I was looking at, etc.

It’s very easy to feel like you “got it” when working with a tiny snippet, or reading someone else’s code. But actually doing it, even if it is just re-typing it line for line, always helped me make it more my own. Not only that, but I now had the actual memory of typing it, which made it much easier for me to recall later!

To be good at anything, you have to practice - a lot! You will never be expert if you just go through a series of exercises one time.

Good luck!


Think about about anything difficult that you have learned in the past. Did you learn how to do it in a day? Or even a month? No. It takes a lot of time, practice, patience, and passion to learn anything difficult. Keep at it, even if it’s for a couple hours a day. It will get better.


It is normal to forget codes especially if you just used it once or twice. My advice to you is that you should take down notes own what you have understood what a particular code does. Doing this will boost your retention of the codes and if you have time, you can play with the code you know and try different things with it.

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Forgetting some code is normal, and you’ll find yourself looking back to previous lessons from time to time. I don’t think memorizing code alone is sufficient; you have to use it (you don’t memorize how to ride a bike; you ride it to learn how to ride it :slight_smile: ). Just keep coding. Like any skill, it will stick with you better the more you use it.

And if you’re stuck, you can always look things up.

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Thank you guys for all of your feedback and tips for me to get better! I really appreciate it guys, I am highly motivated to learn and improve. :smiley:

Happy Coding!!!

As others have said, the more you use it the more you will remember.

I’d just like to add that I have worked as a software developer for a number of years and I still have to Google basic syntax nearly every day! The important thing is that you understand the code. If you know what tools you have and you know what you’re looking for then it’s no big deal if you can’t remember the exact code from memory.


Hi dampish, it is normal. A tool that can help you to remember syntax and stuff and revise it optimally with flashcards is Anki. It is based on one of the most optimal algorithms for long-term memory retention. You can find it here, also if you want to have any idea of the “latest findings” on learning and study you can listen to How we learn, and also The Talent Code: To confirm what was written/said in both these books look at the UCLA Bjork Learning and Forgetting LAB. They confirm through research the optimal methods that have been found recently: Good luck and enjoy the ride


Some advice from another that’s just starting; Don’t stress remembering everything, google will be your bread, butter, mayo, pickles, lettuce, and meat for remembering everything until you’ve done something so many times you just make it.

There was a point where I felt a click on understanding what I was trying to make and how to word the question in so many different ways and google gave me a plethora of examples. Some arnt as semantic as they should be, but you know what? It works and that’s all that matters because you will see something work and start pushing towards picking up the knowledge you’re looking for.

Also another thing, reading fundamentals has helped me get the mind set of how each development code works. Example: I had no clue of javascript/jquery but I read up on how it spoke to itself and to the other things such as html and css, and while I was making a website of a specific thing I wanted it to do. It wasnt working and I spent 6 hours trying to understand why it wasnt doing it and began to realize what each word was saying/telling it to do and seeing how I knew what the words meant in the English language I could see what it was trying to say to a degree.
Until I realized a word in the code wasnt matching up with something specific in the html code itself.

TL:DR It’s ok to not know every code, just use what you know, think, and then google your concept and tinker with your project(s).

Also if you’d like someone to just talk to about this message me maybe we can be study partners! :stuck_out_tongue:


I am also a beginner, starting just a month or two before you. I also ran into that issue and decided not to move past the projects shortly after responsive so I could have a firm grasp of basic HTML/css. I now have a small notebook that I write down basic stuff in and reference back to, while trying to create other sites, basic stuff to help me have a firm grasp on layouts and how they look(design elements). If I want to do something I don’t know how to do or can’t remember I google the crap out of it and then build a few basic pages with it as well as write it in my book. I am just a beginner though as well, so please keep that in mind as other with more experience have posted some great replies for you! Don’t give up!! Make time to do it everyday, even if it’s not for a long period of time. It will start coming to you. Skills take practice, do not get discouraged!!! It’s always hard in the beginning but I feel you are doing great! Use the forums any time you need help, everyone seems super nice and helpful so don’t be afraid to ask for help. I also find it helps to make comments in your code so as you are updating it and continuing on with it you have a constant reminder/refresher on what you have in front of you.


Google is the key to all development. Haha As well as being able to comment which is pretty much ones way of translating what one is trying to do into their own language.

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