Any tips for a beginner?

Hello all and thank you for taking the time to read my post.

I want to know if developing projects for a portfolio should be done as I am learning, or after I have gone through most/all of the content on FCC.

I am looking to get into the field and this question has been gnawing at my brain. Any other tips or links to informative content related to getting into the field and just starting out as a beginner would be helpful.

I have been perusing the forums in search of useful information as well.

Thanks again everyone.

For the beginning I would just advise to mainly follow what interests you, by doing so you will probably naturally end up making your own projects, without losing motivation, because it feels forced.

I personally didn’t do too many side projects, which probably is something I could have done better.
Bottom line is: follow your passion. If you have an interesting idea: go try and do it!

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Hi @nprevallet!

I personally like to build projects alongside the fcc curriculum.
It personally helps me learn the concepts better since I am a slow learner.

But everyone does it differently.

So you just have to pick the approach that works for you.

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Don’t worry about it. The projects that you’ll build as a beginner will help you get better as a programmer, but you’ll throw them all away once you’ve reached a higher (=remotely employable) level, because they’ll be clumsy with mostly horrible code.

I’d like to stress that this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t build projects as a beginner, quite the opposite. Build, build, build, and watch yourself getting better at it. I like to look back at previous projects that I made as a beginner, and laugh about my poor code. It’s a source of motivation that yells your progress into your face.


I agree with @jsdisco.

As beginners, we are going to make tons of mistakes.
But the more that you build the more you learn.

With enough practice your code and presentation will get better.


@jwilkins.oboe @jsdisco

I really appreciate all of the responses. My initial idea was to have a pet project that I build alongside finishing certain points in the curriculum.

From then, I planned to make various projects along the way to create somewhat of a portfolio. My stress revolving around this has been significantly reduced after reading the responses. I appreciate you all.

Michael (I cannot @ more than 2 people); speaking on passion, I never knew I would be into the idea of coding and so far I am loving it and hope to learn as much as I can.


Hello @nprevallet

My advice would be stay curious, by learning at least what there is to learn, and keep a good pace.

Good luck! Keep building, keep learning, keep it up :+1:

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@bradtaniguchi I appreciate that advice and the word of encouragement.

In terms of finishing the various sections within freecodecamp, how much of these elements should I be remembering as I go through them? I know it is an unrealistic expectation of myself to walk away from a lesson and think I should have remembered all of the elements and their uses. I am grasping on to the common theme among elements, and there are quite a few sticking in my brain. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

if it’s none of them it’s perfectly fine, consulting documentation is expected

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I just started freecodecamp but I’ve been making a website as I go with the curriculum to reinforce what I’m learning. Once I learn more I’m sure I’ll scrap it but I think it helps and makes the learning process more fun.

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Do you mean projects that you’re doing on the side or projects from the curriculum?

First of all, to be honest, any project you build while you’re learning at this basic level is probably not going to be good enough to get most jobs. Probably not. But sure, start building a portfolio with what you have and as you build newer and better stuff, that can go to the head of the line and push the other things back.

I would say that side projects that you build based on your ideas are probably more valuable - at this point they’ve seen 15,000 todo, weather, and quote machine apps. It’s good to catch their attention with something different, and something that came entirely from your brain, not a paint-by-numbers tutorial or even a curriculum project. The idea doesn’t have to be great, just the coding.

But yeah, I think the projects you build later will be much more persuasive.

As to advice, just build and learn. And when you get tired of that, learn and build.


I would build some projects as you learn mostly because I think it helps you remember what you’ve learned. Maybe it’s just me, but my brain is definitely ‘use it or lose it’ and if I don’t use something I’ve learned pretty soon after I learn it, I forget it. These projects probably won’t end up on your final portfolio but the experience will help you when you get to your ‘professional grade’ projects.

Also since they’re semi-throw-away projects you don’t have to be too original. You can take something you use online and try to make a replica of it, for example. You skip the part where you’re thinking up a project and working on a design that way. [I’m assuming you’re focusing on coding…if your ultimate goal is design then of course time you spent thinking up a design is very valuable.]

@Traellan & @james.boggs1226 I have a bare bones project that I have started which I plan to add to as I learn more things. I know several people have mentioned doing this. I appreciate the advice!

@kevinSmith I feel that this is sound advice too. I am looking at the curriculum projects as part of the program, and my side projects as real practice to add to a portfolio for a job. I think you are on the right track with presenting an original idea.

I think the main thing to try to just remember what you can look up later. You don’t have to remember every single thing, but getting a grasp at least with what is out there should be good enough to move on. Run into it enough times in the future and you will remember it naturally thru using it.

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