Am I robbing myself to learn JavaScript?

I’ll get straight to the point: I suck big time at problem-solving skills and cannot progress half of the challenges without looking up the solutions.

For example, when I looked one of the hints here, I’ve noticed that many people have come similar solutions to the challenge except me and that bothers me a lot cause I can’t solve problems without asking for help.

It doesn’t help that I’m struggling in Basic JavaScript challenge, What will happen if touched the Algorithms and Data Structures challenges? Will I ever be ready to take on JavaScript projects and get the certificate?

I have no intention of giving up coding after coming this far, but part of me wonders if everything I’m doing till now is worth it?

For the record, I started learning JS in May 2019.


I’ve been a teacher for a few years, specializing in working with folks who struggle here and there… and math.

In my experience, it’s what you do when you’re looking up solutions adn afterwards that matters. When people just get an answer and think “ok! got that grade! Done!” … it doesn’t work so well.

When people get the answer, and then muck over it, try different things, and get it in your brain, and even make connections to “oh, this is like that, because…” then … things work better. Taking your time and figuring out what kind of thinking helps things make sense to you… it gets better! And keep askign questions :slight_smile: It’s totally normal to need lots of help at first. It’s a new language. Keep challenging yhourself and you’ll need less help as you go along. I’ve been asking lame newbie questions here for weeks :slight_smile:


Same here bro. I thought I am the only one struggle with algorithms stuffs.
You are not alone!!!


Remember that you have alternatives to looking up solutions. I strongly encourage you to reach out to your fellow students here on the forum. When you get stuck, come to the forum and describe your thought process so far. Someone will help point you in the right direction. Then if you get stuck again, even quickly afterwards, ask follow-up questions. We’ll keep pointing you in the right direction and since we’re just nudging you, you’ll actually be going through the process of solving the problem. It’s a skill that you build up over time by exercising it.


Oh, and … I’ll take notes and study, even… and/or put post-it notes up (especially if it’s something I got stuck on again – that is also normal b/c we bring older/simpler models to a task and … takes more times and practice to unlearn than to learn)… but it’s important to get things from your brain, not from some outside source. ( is an awesome site about learning…)
… and if you know how your brain works, then… words, drawing… different things will work better.

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The idea there are people out there that come into the challenge, understand it, and write a solution instantly without bugs, and it works perfectly the first time is just plain wrong.

The solutions you find for a given problem are written by people who have gone over the problem before, who understand the underpinnings of the problem, who know the language syntax, who know of all the “wrong” ways to do it (this is where some of the test cases come in). Odds are if your just starting out programming you don’t have any of that experience, and thus are stuck real quick.

Its not bad to look up answers, but you gotta ask yourself why do you need to look up the answers? Is it because you really are 100% stuck, didn’t know about the specific language syntax needed to solve it, was it because you had a bug in your code and it just didn’t work, or did you just give up after 5 or so minutes without trying anything?

Depending on the reason you should generally try to address it. Its one thing to not know something and need help, its another to “progress” with the curriculum without learning anything. Learning comes with failure and repetition, looking at the answer does mean there is an element of failure, but without repetition your stuck trying to memorize the answer, without actually learning anything.

I usually recommend doing 2 things when you find yourself looking up the answer.

  1. Go back a few lessons to review what you should already know until you get to a point where you remember and understand the problem.
  2. When your stuck, before looking up the answer directly, look up parts of the answer to help you along. This way you learn how to break down a problem, while still not trying to figure everything out all at once.

Neither of these are 100% the best path in terms of being a god level programmer where you can write perfect code from the start, but again this person doesn’t exist. The daily common-folk programmer is the one that is given a problem and fights their way through the problem, breaks it down, googles parts they don’t know or are unsure of, considers all stack overflow posts instead of blindly copy and pasting, and comes out learning a few things for the next time.

Don’t expect to succeed instantly, rather expect to succeed over time, and expect to learn the most during the time when stuff just isn’t working haha :slight_smile:


I’ll admit that I hardly ask questions on forums because I don’t know where to draw line between asking for help versus solving by myself. Also, I’m a bit scared if I asked too many questions, I’ll turn into a help-driven development (HDD) which basically means I don’t know how to solve problems without relying on someone’s help. I mean FCC was created to learn how to code and develop problem-solving skills at the same time, right?

I see what you’re getting at, but I wouldn’t stress out about it too much.

  • If you’re concerned about relying on help too much, I think that asking for direction here is significantly better for building independent skills than looking at the solutions.
  • The fact that you are reluctant to ask for help as a first response means that you will build up your research and experimentation skills. This also means that when you come to the forum with a question you will be able to describe the things you have tried and researched.
  • Learning how and when to ask for help is an important skill for a developer.

I see. Then I’ll go ahead and ask questions on FCC. Thank you for your help, everyone! I really appreciate it. :slight_smile: