Challenges are hard to read?

I´m quite comfortable in reading english, but often I find it hard to understand the challenges description.
Is it only me?

Which challenge?
The challenges feature a video describing what to do and a sample project. Do these not help enough?

For example this challange. I mean the challanges are ok, but the instructions are often incomplete.

Videos are just for projects aren´t they?

Don´t get me wrong though, it is not a big complaint, just a feedback. Because as I understand FCC is also meant for complete newbies who know zero about programming. I consider myself one of those, though I had to take a Pascal class in highschool, but I absolutely hated programming back then. Now 10 years later I finally begin to grasp what programming is and I love it :slight_smile: Anyways, if there are too many incomplete instructions it will make learning for newbies a lot harder than it should be.

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I recommend using the gitter channel if you want a quicker response than the forum but do ask questions if you get stuck.

Can you elaborate on why you think the instructions are incomplete for the Counting Cards challenge? What is missing from the challenge instructions?

No I´m not in a hurry with this question, I thought it might be worth a discussion, but if nobody sees a problem with this then its not a problem I guess :slight_smile:

I wonder if you looked at the hint? There is more explanation there.

For example if I wrote a code and it doesnt work, I look for errors down below and it says "Cards sequence… ". Then I think: What sequence? Do user have to insert many cards before the code gives an anwser?

If you look at the starting code, it shows the following:

// Add/remove calls to test your function.
// Note: Only the last will display
cc(2); cc(3); cc(7); cc('K'); cc('A');

It seems obvious from the above code, there could be multiple calls to the function. When you say “user”, who are you referring to? The camper writing the code? The FCC tests are what makes the calls to the functions you build. As long as your function meets the requirements outlined in the instructions, the user does not have to worry about making calls to the function. That is handled automatically.

for a beginner its not so obvious I think

That is why we have the forums. When things seem unclear or incomplete, a camper can always ask for clarification here and we will do our best to fill in the parts which seem to be missing.

Ok I understand how you manage questions like mine and its fair enough, does the job :slight_smile:

In my mind the curriculum would work way better if I didnt have to ask questions about the meaning of a challence instruction. In other words, I would like to understand the task clearly and easily, and I would like to ask questions only if I´m really struggling to find a solution. See what I mean? For an example lets take I have 50 challanges and I dont even understand what I was suppose to with 5 challenges from 50. Then I would have to find out what these challenges mean. Plus I have big problems to find a solution to 10 out of 50. That makes total 20 inquiries out of 50. I think this would not be the time best spent. I think there should rise max 5 serious questions out of 50 challenges.

The reason I think so is the newbies dont have any experience and they have to spend way too many hours away from FCC to make themselves comfortable to solve FCC challanges. In my mind I would see FCC curriculum like a path from where I rarely have to step aside for extra info, every challence would be as clear as chrystal and easy to take, like steps on stairs. And only rarely I have to look for auxiliary material from outside. This has been the case for me. If you look at my heatmap, thats one of the main reasons I have so many so long pauses from FCC. In times I feel I have to pause FCC track because I have to get few coding principles under my belt before I can continue.

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I understand your concerns but if you look at it from free code camp’s eyes they are building a curriculum which is free and accessible to all. Oh did I mention it is free.
Yes it doesn’t cost anything to join and work through the whole course.
Remember, not sure if I mentioned but it doesn’t cost a penny. Therefore $0.

So…why isn’t there more explanation?
You might want to read this:
Javascript is regularly changing which means all these challenges you are working through might become ‘old hat’ soon. So challenges might need re-writing if you want people to know the latest coding methods.

Did I mention it’s free? So you have essentially volunteers working in their spare time to try to keep things going. (Probably)

Plenty of paid courses out there if you don’t like it here.
Or you are welcome to contribute and improve any of the challenges?

Everyone has a different interpretation of what is “clear”. When I read the instructions the first time, I thought they were very clear and gave me all the information I needed to solve the challenge. On other challenges, I had to do some research first, because I felt there were some concepts I was missing (did not clearly understand from previous challenges). I had to go back and review previous challenges, to actually understand what I was being asked to do in a current challenge. There were also a few challenges where even after reviewing and researching via google, that I was still stuck on what to do. That is when I would ask for clarification via a question on the forum.

FCC uses the Read, Search, Ask method for the curriculum. It is expected that not everyone will have the same level of understanding for any specific challenge. If a camper has a basic programming background, they may not have to Ask as many questions. Beginners may have to ask more questions and hence the forum handles those with ease.


Sorry, I didnt want to insult anyone. Thanks for expalantion. I know it is free… I just wanted to know if any camper has felt the same.

I had forgotten that there was option to contribute like that. I consider this.

Thanks, your reply is exactly what I needed :slight_smile:

As one noob to another, I actually agree with some of your sentiments. I only started coding in 2017 (although my partner is a senior full-stack dev), and it’s been 17 years since I’ve had to touch math problems.

For me it’s more of a “language” barrier - the way in which some quick-and-easy challenges are worded. Eg: I’m a musician, who went from Classical in school to obtaining my BA in Jazz in uni, and while doing so I taught music to all kinds…from little kids who knew nothing to high school graduates who needed training to prepare for their varsity music course auditions to accomplished philharmonic orchestra players . The way in which I presented my lessons depended on the student’s background and their desired outcome, so the lessons and teaching styles varied greatly. This was doable, because the lessons were one-on-one and face-to-face.

Back to FCC, it’s impossible for them to lay it out in a way everyone understands. I guess their “language” is more logical if you have a (fairly recent) math/science/basic computer training background. And I like to understand EVERYTHING I’m doing, so I find myself going back to some exercises and trying to solve them in different ways. This makes me take much longer with some challenges, which is frustrating, and makes me bang my head sometimes when some campers who can’t really spell seem to progress faster.

Anyway, what I’m doing right now is studying the book “JAVASCRIPT & JQUERY interactive front-end web development” by Jon Duckett. It’s a beautifully designed and intelligently written study guide for beginners (who know HTML & CSS), simplified in the best way. So once again, my journey is prolonged, but I want to do it RIGHT.

I have several other books at my disposal, but Jon Duckett’s is taking priority at the moment. One i don’t have is “You don’t know JavaScript”, and I think I might have to order it when looking at the reviews.

If books aren’t your thing, then hop on over to Udemy and check out Colt Steele’s courses - they’re on sale at the moment. I might even start that today, as I’m a little tired of reading (I mean, I love to read fiction, but study guides without constant practical application and interaction can get me down).

All the best!


Also try pair programming. I offered to help as a mentor before but not many people responded.

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Many of the earlier challenges had examples,
but as you progress, you get less and less help or explanations
from the challenges. sometimes it helps to visualize your code in
a kind of flow chart mock up?

Blockquote You will write a card counting function. It will receive a card parameter and increment or decrement the global count variable according to the card’s value (see table). The function will then return a string with the current count and the string “Bet” if the count is positive, or “Hold” if the count is zero or negative. The current count and the player’s decision (“Bet” or “Hold”) should be separated by a single space.

function cc( card )
{ if card is 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 … ++count;
if card is 7, 8, 9 … do not alter count
if card is 10, ‘J’, ‘Q’, ‘K’, ‘A’ … --count
if count > 0 var playerAction = “bet”
else playerAction = “hold”
return count + playerAction

One thing i used a lot that wasn’t taught in FCC was the ability to place
the cursor on multiple lines to change many things at once. I think that should be
an early lesson for FCC :slight_smile:

the earlier lesson gives a method to help with this challenge?

Thanks for the offer! I’ll take you up on it when I’ve finished the Colt Steele Web Dev Bootcamp, which shouldn’t be too long now (will probably also got through the advanced course before I do, or else you might regret your altruism) :smiley: