Brand spanking new coder, advice?!

I have been working through the Responsive Web Design certification, and now it’s time for me to make my projects. I whizzed through all of the courses, but now that I am trying to write a program from scratch I don’t feel as confident.
I wonder if any of you have advice for some kind of transition between the courses and writing my own code. I keep getting stuck, then going back to the courses, then looking at other people’s projects, and then trying to work through the problems myself.
Is it wrong to look at other people’s code??!! Or should I actually try to read lots of different people’s code to get used to the language? What other kind of practice can I do that will help me become fluent in these new languages?
I thought I’d just sit down and start writing the code for my tribute page, no big deal. But the flow is totally different. Feeling flustered.

Hello there!

The transition from learning to doing is always hard.
I’ve built my own websites before, simple stuff. But even then, the Responsive Web Design certification projects are making me question my abilities to do frontend! :confounded:

I’m up to my third project for the certification now and it’s slowly…but surely… coming together. Keep at it! Don’t give up!

Feel free to reach out whether in the forum or PM. Good luck!! :wink:


Hi @micha.ella !

Most people go through this.
It is really common.

The challenges only focus on small tasks.
But the projects require you to build pages that focus on many tasks.
A lot of people will forget the challenges and feel lost.

Just take your time.
Start with the user stories.
Go through one at a time.

Research the forum for answers.
A lot of people have asked the same questions you have.
Use google.
Ask questions on the forum.

As long as you don’t blindy copy and paste the sample code, you are good.

Then focus on the css.

It will take a while before you feel confident building web pages.
It is all part of the learning process.

Just keep practicing and it will get easier.

Hope that helps!


Thank you! This is a good reminder for me to not try to overcomplicate things at this point, and just work on one User Story at a time. Also, it seems like you are saying to work on the html first and then focus on the css instead of doing it concurrently? That’s probably a good idea. I was anxious to see my style elements right away, and getting tripped up because I was writing code in two different windows.
I appreciate your advice!

Thank you for your encouragement! Wishing you the best with your projects as well!

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If I had to start all over and re-learn everything, the best thing to do is start very, very small with projects. Focus on smaller components that you typically see on your favorite website (layout of panels, image carousals, navigation links in navbars, etc.)

By doing this, you keep the effort small but have enough work there to show off to others. And it also prevents you from being too overwhelmed because that’s a very easy thing to do. And I think the FCC projects are wayyyyy too big for novices in the beginning

Another piece of advice that will seem untraditional from FCC is to skip straight to deployments. I had many of a project fail because the complications that came with deployments even with one-click solutions like Netlify and Github pages. And nothing is more frustrating than building a beautiful site by hand but it never see the light of day because you get overwhelmed with deploying it :frowning:

Good luck!


Thank you. I don’t know what deployments are… I have never used Netlify, Github, or anything else. I just started with CodePen.
I finished my first project today!

I would suggest getting familiar with it as soon as possible
This link is specific to the Gatsby framework in javascript but this could be applied to your vanilla projects as well. Before doing this though, make sure you have a firm understanding how git and Github work

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I got the same feeling when I first started. I by no means am downplaying freeCodeCamp because it’s a great resource, but unfortunately you spend A LOT of time learning content and going through the small challenges without putting it to practical use, so by the time you get to the projects, you’re TOTALLY lost. From my experience, I had to use other resources to get the practical experience needed. I started learning how to code in March of this year and I feel 100% confident now that I can go through and take on those projects with zero problem in the Responsive Web Design course. It took me a while because I really wanted to understand CSS, which I feel is the first major roadblock on the Front End Developer’s journey, just because we rush through it and not totally understand how CSS works. I did a deep dive into it, finding resources after resources, and I’ll say I feel 90% comfortable with the CSS I write. So don’t feel bad, you just have to keep digging and digging for more practice.

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@Ltc870 Thank you! It’s encouraging to know that you are feeling so confident after a few months. If you can think of any resources you found that you’d recommend to become more knowledgeable in CSS (or other languages!), I’d love to look into them. Right now, I have the courses that I refer back to, the book Web Coding & Development for dummies, and Google lol.

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Right now I’m just focusing on Front End Development so my knowledge is towards HTML, CSS, and I’m currently fighting my way through JavaScript lol! So the resources I use are:

W3Schools Online Web Tutorials
Scrimba (probably my favorite resource right now) - Some of the videos are paid, but their free options are very good! I’m going through their free JavaScript course right now. They have an AWESOME Responsive Web Development Bootcamp Course on there (It’s taught by the awesome Kevin Powell, a beast at CSS, follow his Youtube seriously. His page will up your game tremendously) but I think it’s a paid class. I decided to pay the 25$/month subscription which will give you access to EVERYTHING on the website. I really like them because their videos are integrated with a text editor, so the teacher will get to a point, and allow you to practice in the text editor, so it’s VERY hands on! - This website is by Kevin Powell. If you want to learn CSS, then in my opinion, he’s one of the best on Youtube to learn from because he explains it to where CSS makes soooo much sense. He has a free Responsive Web Design Bootcamp that you can take. It’s a “drip” course so once you register, you’ll get the lessons day by day, which is aggravating, but you’ll either learn responsive design, or reinforce what you’ve learned from other resources, depending on where you’re at in your journey. KP’s is always dropping something CSS related on his Youtube channel too so make sure you stay up on that!

Then a book that I have is CSS In-Depth. It’s an AWESOME book. It’s really just more practice because all you’re doing is copying what the author wrote, but the more you practice, the more it’s ingrained in you right!? And it’s a really good quick reference if you need to find something quick. I’ve gone through all of the chapters.

I really haven’t touched Bootstrap, Tailwind, or Sass just yet because I want a really really solid foundation on CSS. What’s the point of learning a framework if you don’t really understand the language the framework is based off? When one thing changes, I’d imagine a person would freak because they don’t know what’s going on.

As I said I’m currently learning JavaScript right now, so I don’t have as many resources for that just yet, but I’m sure once I get tired of banging my head, I’ll do a deep dive into it and really learn what I’m doing.

Oh yes, for practice, go to Frontendmentor. They have a BUNCH of projects you can do to practice. You can go to other people’s code and look at their solutions as well. Some of the projects you’ll have to pay for but there are some really good free ones too. I pay the $12 dollar subscription since it’s not that much…I’m really invested in learning as you can see lol.

Sorry for this to be so long, but I hope anything in here will help you!


super helpful @Ltc870 ! Thank you for taking the time to share! :blush:
So far with my FCC projects, the HTML is pretty straight forward. But I want the page to look nice! I’m lacking the know-how with CSS. The course kinda gives you the quick-and-dirty, but I want to get a good grasp on it as soon as possible. I’m going to check all of these sites out!

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