Feeling Demotivated and tried

As the title says, last year I was very motivated and I was looking to change my career become a good web developer, it was my new year resolution as well. Everything was going fine I was doing alright finishing up the task and challenges on FCC. I bought the Colt Steele’s course and completed the initial task. Some coding on codeacademy and Odin Project (just signed up) but now I just don’t feel like doing anything. I cant remember the code I just forgot the syntax or stuff like that. I lost all my interest when I reached the first stage of making tribute pages I just can’t code without instructions and I felt like a dumbass.

I just quit coding no progress in 3-4 months, I thought about deciding to join a local short course so place in my town where I can learn coding because everytime I open my laptop after work I feel so tired and sleepy. I eventually found one small software house (7 developers) working on unity projects and web-based (php backend projects). They offered me an internship (long story) I went there 2-3 days but I was not learning anything I did something but it was not a proper roadmap. One day I was looking at the front end the other day I was doing some PHP :confused: it made no sense.

Right now I work as a Customer Service rep and I work 9 hrs a day. After I finish my work I don’t have any energy I just tried and I cant concentrate on the side projects or learning some code. I talk on the phones all day long and I can’t quit my job because it pays my bills. I wake up at 5 am as I need to reach my office sharp 6 am and I get off at 3 pm. After that, when I visit the software house, I spend 3 hrs there but those guys know their stuff I’m just stuck looking at my screen or doing something else it been two days I had some family commitments I took off from that internship since they are not paying anything I can make excuse and leave they won’t even bother stopping me.

So I think I cant become a good developer it’s not my thing anymore I’m stuck with these odd jobs. I can’t quit because I will go broke in no time. So any advise what should I do? or is it normal? how can I manage this situation?

ignore my english its not too good.

Is it paid internship? Can you quit that job and instead use that time productively by doing self learning?

And by self learning, I don’t mean watching or following a freaking video tutorial. I mean reading a book or documentation or reference site and typing the code yourself, playing with it, trying out each html tag and knowing what it does, building your own ‘projects’ etc. Do the same for css tags.

Start simple, thought that tribute page is very simple. Maybe you even need to start even simpler than that.

  1. Display your name
  2. Change color of your name
  3. Change font and size of your name.
  4. Center your name.
  5. Add another line below your name.
  6. Add a background color behind your name, etc

You need to crawl before you can walk, before you can jump, before you even JavaScript.

Take it easy, enjoy the discovery and learning process and treat each task accomplished as a mini victory. All these little tidbits of knowledge will add up. Buy an html/css book and read it during your breaks. READ… WRITE… not watch videos.

Again, stop watching tutorial videos (it just makes you think you’re learning but as soon as you stop the video, you’re lost and feel haven’t learned anything even after watching hundreds of hours of a talking head or moving mouse.

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No its unpaid internship, I cannot quit my job.

Its just that after 9 hrs of work everyday i don’t feel like doing anything productive :confused:

I will give it a try investing in a book. Any suggestions for learning front end from a book?

You can’t quit your unpaid internship?

I can quit my unpaid internship.

Totally understand the feeling. If it’s at all possible, get up extra early and study or practice. You’ll get the knowledge into your mind and then you can go to your job. Even if you feel tired at your job, hopefully you can get through the last few hours at work. Don’t get fired of course…

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Yea, i did tried but it was not working for me since nowadays work load is too much at our office I hardly get 20-30 mins break time in which i eat my meal and after that if sometimes work load is manageable i open FCC and boom all of a sudden I’m getting all these requests at work then i have to close FCC again :confused: i will try to change my routine or something but lets see since i need to be at work sharp 6 am things are kinda hard for me i have to sleep, spend time with my family and all.

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First and foremost, make sure that you take care of your bodily needs. Don’t sacrifice sleep for coding. Then take care of your relationships. Don’t sacrifice family time for coding. Then take care of your current income source. Don’t sacrifice your job for coding. You may find that you have more motivation (or can at least grin and bare it) when the rest of your life is in harmony.

As far as the internship, since they’re not paying you, I would only stay if you believe you’re getting more out of the experience than you would studying alone or if you think it may lead to a paying job (either at that company or through resume fluffing).

If all else fails, if you’ve taken care of all of the other needs and duties in your life and left the internship and still can’t find the motivation, then try coding for one hour per night at the same time every night for 3 months and see if you can form a habit out of it.

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Yes, I will quite the internship and I would try to spend an hour a day at home on coding till the end of this year and I will see by the end of this year. Thanks for your help really appreciate that.

Always remember buddy, some people learn faster than others. I in particular am a very slow learner, I need to constantly go over and over things before they sink in! If it is something you feel passionate about then carry on with it!

I too have a demanding full time job. I am an Operations Manager for a construction company. Recently I got into the habit of coding one hour in the morning, and then as much time as I can manage in the evening (usually 1-2 hours). The morning consists of something that might not be urgent and I enjoy doing (usually making new portfolios!) and the evening consists of learning/courses.

I can only suggest that you need to find the method of learning that works for you. I dont actually necessarily learn best through the methods of FCC, however I know some people do. Some people learn best by books, or just by going it alone. I prefer to watch video courses and do code alongs. One of the turning points for me was Wes Bos’s #Javascript30. Its 30 projects for 30 days and the repetitiveness really helped!

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@owel Let me preface this by saying I totally respect your knowledge and experience (and this is not a personal attack, I seriously love reading your responses cause they’re chalk full of excellent advice), I’m just really curious why you’re anti-video learning?

Now I totally agree about just watching a video and then turning around and not really knowing what you’ve just watched, but what if it’s pared with note taking and coding what you’ve seen in that video?

Personally, I’ve done well with video tutorials. I kinda liken them to being in the classroom watching your teacher or prof speak and them writing on the chalkboard or on the overhead, you know? Maybe it’s the combo of visual and audio for me along with hands on/practical (notes and testing the concepts live on my own) that makes it work.
Like I got my feet wet with JS with Colt Steele’s developer bootcamp and that’s practically all videos. But I also wrote and theorized in my own words and tested concepts out on my local server extensively.

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I think most of the good advice is already given. But I would like to add one. I see you started with HTML/CSS and at the internship the PHP was added. Choose a programming language and stick to that one for a while. Don’t do multiple ones at the same time, as a novice. It will only make you confuse languages. It’s possible that along the road, the language you have chosen turns out not the right one for you, but you won’t know until you stuck with it for a while.

Second the take care of your body bit. I would also add try to get in some regular exercise as well. It can be difficult to fit in sometimes, but it pays large dividends in future productivity and energy levels. Also, there is research that exercise improves learning capacity.

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Hi @dlyons. I’m not 100% anti-video as I take them myself (Udemy, Mongo University), and I have recommended some Udemy courses here. The “answer” I give is also dependent on the original post, catered to that person.

I guess the problem with video courses is some students treats it as a “passive” activity. It’s like almost trying to learn something by osmosis (I saw it, I heard it, I’ve even watched it a second time, therefore I should know it.) And then some video courses spoon feeds you. All the finished files are provided. I’ve seen students say they’ve watched several video courses on this and that platform, but when presented with a new website/problem, and a blank code editor… they don’t even know where to start.

Another thing with watching videos being a passive activity is if you’re already tired and fried, and plop down to watch one… you just kinda end up “seeing” and not really looking. Like a blank stare, your mind already checked out, and pretty soon, you’ve gone over “5 chapters” and still not know anything… or soon it’s forgotten.

This is a good approach because now you’ve made what is a “passive” activity of watching into an “active” activity. Your eyes and ears are engaged, and now your hand and the brain process that activates thinking and writing. It’s the same thing with mindless copy-pasting code… it’s passive (ctrl-c, ctrl-v… done). Doesn’t benefit the person one bit. But somebody typing the code line-by-line (even though how simple or repetitive it might be), that itself is some learning, or at least getting more familiarized with the code/structure (ex: the importance of proper indenting on a python code).

Also, video courses depend a lot on who the Instructor is. Some are very good, some are so-so, some are crap. Someone can be an excellent ninja developer, but a lousy teacher. Some may be a so-so developer, but excellent teacher. Someone can be better in explaining by writing an article vs. speaking in front of a camera.

What I can’t stand are videos where the instructor just repeats what’s already shown on the screen, (Them mumbling "X equals five plus open parenthesis quotation mark my name, J. A. Y. etc. etc. etc. ) It’s like filler material just to make the video longer (more hours, more bragging, more marketing) but light in substance.

I’ve used videos as a quick introduction to a topic. (HECK! I remember watching a VHS videotape of a Macromedia Dreamweaver tutorial… on. VHS. tape.)

A quick way to bootstrap (show & tell me) to get me launched into something new. But I don’t rely solely on the video. I have another browser running side-by-side, opened to the language/documentation reference page. I’d pause the video, look up the function/command he used in the reference site, scan and see what optional parameters it expects, or its overloaded methods are… then resume the video, then pause… repeat.

Or I’ll pause the video, and type the code manually… even though the instructor may have provided download zip files for the exercises. Or totally pause the video and just explore the code… go tangent, go rogue… what if I do it this way, or that way… what error do I get?

Also, there’s no way somebody can cover the whole language or framework in a video. You’re allowing yourself to be shortchanged if you just rely on the video and what the instructor says (yes, even if they’re that good.) As I said, videos are good as a quick introduction to something new, to get you up and running. They’re like training wheels on a bike, but after a while, it needs to come off and you need to do it on your own.

I do have to say I like online video tutorials on how to do simple repairs (again, it’s a show and tell me… just to give me enough confidence boost ) Say… how do I replace a broken door handle on a Suburban. Okay, I need to pop this door panel at these locations, there’s a screw here, I’ll need to drill out this rivet here and just replace with a bolt/nut when I put it back together… It doesn’t make me a mechanic but for that one particular task, it’s enough to get me going. But then again, watching the how-to video, and the actual hard work of doing and having my knuckles scrape, and grunting and cursing to remove a nut… the actual DOING part is a different learning experience from just WATCHing the video.

Hope this clears it up a bit :slight_smile:


As always, an amazingly thoughtful answer!

And yeah that totally clears it up and I agree with you. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been frustrated watching a video tutorial that just skims over a topic with like one example. I’m like “okay, that was a good appetizer but where’s the main course?” Give me some scenarios, tell me why xyz does what it does or doesn’t do for that matter. Hell I even appreciate when the instructor takes me in the wrong direction as a teaching method and then we fix it. At least that creates a real life scenario that I can think back on.

Then again I’ve encountered the same thing with book lessons at times. But I get it, there’s only so much you can cover in so much time or with so many pages. I guess one plus side to video tutorials is you could contact the instructor about doing a supplementary video. No guarantee they’ll do it of course, but it’ll probably be more fruitful than asking an author to write another book :laughing:

I hear you too that sometimes coding skills != teaching skills. Which is why when you find those rare gem type of teachers who both know what they’re doing and can teach it to you in a engaging and memorable way you hang onto them like grim death haha.

Which is why I dug Colt for example, he’s got a engaging personality. I mean there’s only so many ways to make learning arrays exciting and I definitely had to branch off on my own for additional learning (still am actually) but I found it a great combo of visual/audio/hands-on learning.

I do that quite often, usually cause I’m stubborn (or cheap? frugal sounds better) enough to want to do everything myself if I can. Change a 20+ year old kitchen sink? Broken light above my back licence plate? Laptop surgery? Youtube is my buddy. But you’re 100% right, seeing vs doing is where the real learning comes into play.

I understand the frustration, especially when it feels like it’s not coming as easy as you hoped it would.

Some of the things that worked for me:

  1. After getting through most of the HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, and some of the jQuery stuff on FCC and Colt’s course, I went back and started the courses from the start just to help me reinforce the very basics.
  2. If I did not thoroughly understand something, or why it was being done, I spent a lot of time Googling other resources until I felt I understood it before moving on.
  3. I would try doing things beyond what the projects or assignments required… I would try ‘breaking’ the code just to see what happens and why.
  4. I would try things with the code that weren’t covered in the courses up that point, but were related.
  5. I would look at other people’s code closely and try to figure out what each line was doing, and what was connected to it.

Doing these things took a lot longer, but helped me get the very basics down before moving on to harder stuff.

You probably know more than your giving yourself credit for… Think about it, 5-6 months ago you probably didn’t know what the heck a <div> tag was, but now you do.

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