BEGINNER BLUES (Am i = tooOld > 'this');?


So, I finished a fundamentals bootcamp and I feel like it was a lot to take in all at once .
I’ve done well on the projects and pretty much sailed through fundamentals quickly and with ease.
I do however get discouraged when I step off my bootcamp site to attempt outside problem solving to learn even the most basic javascript.

I have recognized that building the sites and solving issues in basic Bootcamp projects are sort of “laid out” processes. So we’re given an explicit direction which makes it a bit easy peazy to build what they are asking for.

  1. create an array
  2. write a function
  3. Call the function
  4. Build entire page and get it to work given very specific instructions.
  5. Try other code sites.
  6. Call your mom and ask for a biscuit recipe.
  7. Watch Guardians Of the Galaxy with your cat.
  8. Realize your brain feels like Groot who can make pretty lights but only uses one syntax that means everything they are trying to say.
  9. Cry when Rocket is holding a stick that’s left after Groot dies.
  10. Sleep, code, sleep, code, sleep.
  11. Get completely stressed out because you “Just can’t get it”.
  12. Try again by replanting Groot stick in a mind bucket.

However, when joining a few other sites to try out some problems there I’m seeing a trend in the process of learning where I feel like I’m led to believe I have studied all the processes needed to solve a problem but then there are arbitrary parts of it that actually have nothing to do with previous learning and I am forced to look up other code to use.

When I do this I sometimes find a process or part of a function that works but more often than not I end up at a wall confused and thinking I just don’t understand my “basics” like i thought I did. Or I’m not retaining a “mystical” part of something I’ve studied before that’s supposed to help me understand where I’m at with the current problem to solve. Or I really don’t understand any of this at all and should eat a bag of earthworms and call it a day.

I end up confused and then questioning why I’m spending the money on the camp because I’m just not getting it.


Welcome to the world of web development. It is impossible to know everything and one of the best skills you can have is the ability to find the answers to your questions and then applying them to your particular problem. You work on this by doing things you haven’t done before in your bootcamp. Bootcamps can’t teach you everything. Hopefully they are teaching you the basics. But it will be up to you to learn on your own how to expand your skill set to the next level.

1 Like

Hi and welcome to the forum!

Professional software development is a process of constant research and learning. Knowing the basic syntax of a programming language is important, but problem solving is much more than memorizing syntax. The only way to get better at coding is to do it a bunch. Practice, practice, practice.

Now, the question of if a bootcamp is worth what they are charging is a completely different question that I can’t answer for you. You can always use our completely free resources to ask questions or get help if you need to supplement what you get from your bootcamp.


Yeah, that makes sense.
This is what I’m gathering from my peers in the profession as well.

I’ve been adding to my bootcamp studies through Code Wars and through picking one particular aspect at a time and running it down with research. My issue is I feel like I should be able to get this faster. I’m a wiz at music theory, guitar. I do a whole lot of things, juggle, public speaking, singing, composition etc. I just expected to get this faster.

It is definitely better to know and be told “It’s friggen HARD to understand right away and it’s not easy” then to feel like it’s just a mountain that cannot be scaled.

Thank you.

@ArielLeslie just had a great related reply


I’ve experienced what you’re describing, and I agree that it’s very frustrating. Learning from a tutorial-style format tells you what to do at every step and sure, it makes sense when they explain it, but when the tutorial is done, you realize that you have no idea how to build your own Thing. What is missing from this is the process of figuring out how to to the next bit. Figuring out what to do is what we do as programmers, after all. This is one of the reasons that I think that freeCodeCamp is so much better than anything else of the kind. If you haven’t yet, I do recommend spending time on the freeCodeCamp JavaScript curriculum. When you get stuck, come here and talk the problem through with us. Resist looking at the available solutions. Reading solutions will teach you how to read code and follow other people’s solutions, which is what you’re already learning from your tutorials.

I will, however, repeat what others have said here: being frustrated and confused is just part of the process. What you are doing now is building the skillset to work through those times of confusion and frustration.

1 Like

I’m not a musical genius, I only played guitar to play a few riffs from my favorite bands, and get a break from Guitar Hero. (rip)

However, I want to offer an analogy for how it is to learn programming compared to learning a musical instrument. Learning to play a musical instrument requires you to learn a number of different levels of knowledge to get a high level right? You need to know how to read sheet music, the theory underlying the music, and how to execute what you read. In the same sense, programming requires you to know your “instrument” (the language syntax, and its environment), the theory underlying what your writing, and how to put it all together what you know of the language and the theory.

To take this a level further, you could argue if you are to program a solution your actually composing your own “music” in a sense. This requires you to understand what you want to write just as much it is to understand the instrument you are to play.

You can practice scales all day, but they wont get you to a spot where you can compose something from scratch. The same way you can’t just practice simple challenges and expect to be able to build something from scratch. In that sense you must go beyond just learning scales and learn “tougher stuff” from other sources so you can put things together. It might be harder sure, but its something that is required if you want to compose your own music, or build stuff using code. :slight_smile:

Finally its worth noting, you can play music bad and people will wince. However, if you program stuff “wrong”, a computer is a much harsher critic and will just not do what you want, or explode with errors. In that sense programming is unforgiving and the harshest possible critic.

Keep it up, keep learning and keep building :+1:


Focus on the things you learned and you know, instead of on the things you dont know. Its impossible to know everything! Especially considering the fact that technology is changing so drastically. Keep on learning what is most in demand and showcase your skills with personal projects.
Try to be more positive and focus on things you learned within last few months. Compare yourself today to yourself two months ago. If you try to compare yourself to others who spent years in the industry then you will never be satisfied.