At the end of Basic Frontend Dev Projects... Learning Curve

I’ve finally gotten to the end of these projects, as the title suggests. And up to this point I had been really enjoying the course… Then this project hit me and, I’ll be blunt, I ended up avoiding the course for nearly two weeks.

The biggest problem for me is the difficulty curve… Up to this point I felt things very smooth, with strong roots in Gamification ideas and Small, Achievable tasks. It meant, even though some tasks may have been very small in the scheme of things, I kept coming back and spending a lot of time on it because it was easy to see the progress I made. I’m reasonably confident I could create a page from scratch, organised within different div classes, and with some pretty CSS effects to boot.

So, in theory it’s stuff I should already know. But putting it into practice in these projects felt like a huge leap in terms of learning styles. It probably isn’t helped that codepen is introduced at the same time… I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t get on with it. I ended up using Github Pages and Visual Studio Basic, as it just made much more sense in flow and seeing how the files are organised (I am probably in a strange minority that got the hang of GitHub long before starting a course like this… As I used it mostly to keep me updated on game mods).

Some of it was also my perfectionism… I found the Tribute page much easier (especially when I turned it into a tongue-in-cheek page involving the song Tribute by Tenacious D). But, the second I had to create my own Portfolio page, I got myself bogged down in tiny details. I did learn some stuff; having different colours appear when hovering over a link in the navigation bar. I tried making it easier for myself by, again, removing myself slightly from the task; emulating my brother’s website. But, again, I got bogged down in getting the navbar centred AND fixed… Which, when I finally solved, screwed up all the colours.

Now, part is really my fault. But my point is that it felt like these projects came a bit too early… A few more examples to create and experiment from scratch would have helped greatly. It really got me stuck in a rut on the course… One I was only able to solve by submitting my unfinished (but a bit more than half complete) page.

You can chalk this to stuff a developer should be practicing, and getting into better habits… You’re not always going to have lots of little easy goals, and at some point you’ll have to get used to working like this. But, from an accessibility and momentum standpoint, I feel like it could be improved. You could even have optional exercises for those who still feel uncomfortable; I’d even be willing to help create some once I’m more experienced. I know, for me, it’s more important I semi-complete that particular task, but at least keep the momentum going so I still keep these concepts fresh in my head until they stick in my long-term memory.

I just wanted to add, this isn’t to slate the course… I love it. It is the most accessible course I have been able to find on the web, and I already feel like Ihave learned far more than I ever have anywhere else as well :slight_smile:


I’ll be honest. I came to the forum looking to see posts on how others were doing with the “build a personal portfolio” portion of this course. I am pretty overwhelmed at the idea and I do not know where to start honestly. I was happy working on the tribute page project and I learned a lot. The main lesson I learned was there are a lot of ways to arrive at the same end result. The problem is I don’t want to develop bad habits and I really think I need more hands on education with more guidance. I am going to give this a shot but as you stated, the momentum is tough to keep up during this project. I know myself and this is going to require a lot of self learning in order to get any progress. I just don’t think I am ready for this yet. too many questions still.

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You are exactly right, and it works the other way… There are so many ways you can screw up a solution. Some of them are obvious mistakes (forgetting <>'s or other things), but then there are the times where, logically, it should work but actually it turns out you’re meant to do it a different way.

Also making your first big project your portfolio might not help… I spent more time than I needed to because, personally, I was disappointed with the outcome, even if I technically completed each of the user stories. It might have been more useful to give us some quick-fire web page projects one after another… The first few using the built-in FreeCodeCamp ide, then a few more encouraging you to use CodePen or other services. So that people can get used to the “structure” of html pages and quickly prototyping, before projects more focused on looking good as well?

Also, @Elieceo40 if you submit your page even if it’s not finished yet, you can still progress to the next section on Javascript, which goes back to the style of learning before. Like I said before, I’ve decided to do this for now then come back to my page when I feel more familiar with coding.

I’m relieved to find someone who thinks similar to me, as I was worried at what responses I might get!!! Saying that I’ve always got the feeling things are friendly from the blog and design of the teaching, but that fear is always there!!

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I think it’s best to “just do” the portfolio, even if it isn’t very good. You will be able to improve it over time, as you add your actual projects to it.


Congratulations, you’re set for success if you keep working at it. Now you can start polishing your skills by reading MDN, following tech leaders, joining a group of people who share your same goals, attending meetups, etc.

You’re just getting started, keep going!

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In a way, it’s like learning math. You follow along in class as the teacher works out the problems, you take notes, you think you understand it - and then you try to do the homework problems, and it’s a whole different story.

I’ve worked through other courses and tutorials before, so I zoomed through the front-end lessons and didn’t feel the need to take many notes. I was able to do the tribute site, but the portfolio page had me wondering what we’d learned. I couldn’t even remember.

I suppose my portfolio page meets the requirements at this point, but I wouldn’t say I’ve mastered even the basics of Bootstrap yet, which for me was the main point of the project.

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I bet it wasn’t the greatest page in the world…

There’s no such thing as “should” in computer science. Unless you’re talking about RFCs.

OK, that’s an overstatement. What I mean is that human ideas about what is “logical” aren’t always logical from a computer’s perspective. When you’re working with JS or HTML or whatever, that’s already highly abstracted, and some of the “illogical” things are simply due to poor design decisions, but many more are just due to differences in human and machine ways of processing information. And a good chunk lie somewhere in the middle.

So here I am a few days later. I Started working on small projects on my own to help me answer questions. I did a “Bootstrap test” proving that columns exist, which was a replica of something I saw on YouTube. at this point, I am struggling with getting bootstrap, and getting it working as the demos do. I have been watching YouTube and trying to replicate the code written in some of these projects. I am stuck on trying to get a Navbar to behave, and it has me wondering now about my hardware and also my settings on IE. I’ll sit and watch a video on one screen while typing along on the other and after a few hours I feel like I’ve learned so much, yet my code doesn’t work so I still feel like I’ve learned nothing. such is life… but I Will. Not. Quit. My goal is get a job as a web developer and I’ve given myself 12 months to soak up as much knowledge and work on as many projects as I can. Thank you for the encouragement and please excuse the stupid questions. I get hung up on minute details until I understand them and I am fine with that most of the time.
Sometimes I have to tell myself to shut up and just start coding!

I am almost done with the JS portion of the course, it is frustrating at time’s that is for sure. I have not completed the first two projects yet(almost done with tribute page), but I have spent a lot of time thus far perfecting the projects that i do. Although, it is tough at first, imho this is the best way to learn(for me anyway). I do not take notes, I just suffer through the pain. LOL. The best way to learn all of this stuff is to just do it and don’t over think things. We as fresh devs have to work through all of these difficult problems just like everyone before us. We have all of these wonderful resources and support available to us it’s crazy. If we are able to commit the time necessary, to code every day regardless of the amount of time spent, then we will eventually get to where we would like to be. I am working on changing careers, form a sysadmin role to full stack dev. Web development is absolutely awesome! This is literally the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. I very much look forward to the great future and successful career ahead of me. I hope this helps, anyone struggling to learn all of this amazing stuff. A big thank you to all of the people who have contributed to FCC! All of your hard work is greatly appreciated.