Feeling Like I Cheated

I’ve finished Javascript and Front End Library courses (just need to do the Front End Projects) and I feel a bit of shame, as when it come to anything involving Javascript I became overly reliant on looking at the solution’s given in the hints page. I feel like I didn’t learn a thing honestly, I just stared at the screen for 10 minutes before giving up and looking up the answer.
I understand what I’m looking for now when I look at a page, so I must have picked up something. But I still can’t, on my own, put together a “for” script or understand how to create an algorithm. HTML and CSS are much more in my wheelhouse but if I want a future in webdev I need to learn Javascript so I feel like a failure in that regard. Is that just me or does anyone else suffer from that issue.


Hi @Smellbringer!

So it sounds like you are moving to fast.
Because your last post on starting the tribute page was in december. And now you have completed both the javascript and front end certification.

That sounds like a lot in a short time frame unless I am missing something.

I would give it more than 10 minutes. It is normal to struggle. Try spending 20,30,40+ minutes with challenges and trying different things.

Looking at solutions teaches you how to read code but not how to problem solve.

For the algorithms, I would suggest writing out some pseudocode and what you want to accomplish and then take it one small step at a time to translate that into real code. Having documentation open and looking up the different methods will help to.

If you are completely lost, I would revisit the javascript projects before trying to tackle the react projects in the front end section.

There is no shame in taking your time so you can learn it right.

Hope that helps!


Really, coding is staring at the screen for hours, doing research, trying things that don’t work, researching some more, trying other things that don’t work, researching and experimenting some more until you get something that works, going back to edit what you had that was working because it is too fragile or has a bug or is not maintainable, accidentally breaking that piece of code or a related piece of code, researching and experimenting some more, staring at your computer some more, and so on, and so on.

If it only took 10 min to solve coding problems, the job wouldn’t pay so well.


Something I can reccommend that helped a lot, specifically with the front end calculator. I copied all their js from the file into my own document, then I spent probably an hour or two adding comments ALL over it, describing what each function did, making sure I understood it. Then I deleted almost all of the code from their project, and used my own comments as a sort of blueprint to make it work properly. This really helped me understand what their code did, rather than just saying “I’ll use this because it works.”

It was quite time consuming, but it helped a lot in the long run.

It does sound like you’re missing some fundamental javascript though. I’d recommend picking up a book of some kind maybe, or doing a tutorial on a different website for another approach. Maybe try w3schools.com, eloquentjavascript.net, or jsforcats.com. All of the above resources are free. (also none of this is my content, not trying to self-promote or anything)

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Hmm, interesting idea, I’ll consider it.

There’s a reason why people say trite things like “you’re only cheating yourself”. The point here isn’t whether you “cheated” it’s whether or not you actually learned and gained the skills that you wanted to. It sounds like you didn’t.

I’m not going to claim that you don’t learn anything from looking at answers, but you don’t learn how to solve problems by looking at answers.

This isn’t going to be what you want to hear, but if you can’t write a loop without looking at code, I really think you need to go back to basics. I suggest that you go back to the point in the JavaScript section where you started looking at answers and challenge yourself to go through the rest of the JavaScript section without looking at any solutions. Ask for help if you need it (but as @JeremyLT said, 10 minutes is “barely looking at it” in coding terms), but work through the problem from beginning to end.

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That’s fair. Honestly I probably need to do a little soul searching on my entire method.

Haha yes this is so true!

Sometimes I will go to bed thinking I don’t even know how I broke it this time :smiley:

So @Smellbringer it is totally normal to struggle. Even the pros go through it.

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I’d really recommend not looking at the solution before you start though. The hardest part of coding is looking at a problem and coming up with a plan to solve that problem. Starting out by looking at someone else’s code completely bypasses that step.

That’s the thought that’s been haunting me for a while. I feel like I cheated and it’s clear I did.

Well it is good that you are recognizing it is a problem and are motivated to fix it.

I would revisit parts of the javascript section and take it slower this time.

You don’t have to have complete mastery over the topics but the goal is to have a basic understanding.

Also, allowing yourself more time to understand these concepts is the key to.
Because if my timeline was right, then you didn’t give yourself enough time to learn this stuff in the first place.


You can always try the projects again from scratch or try some new projects.


Also, for extra practice you could try codewars.

Start with the 8kyu javascript problems because that is the beginner level.

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Okay, that sounds helpful. Thank you.

Remember to be as gentle and patient with yourself as you would be with a friend. It’s not that you did things “wrong” - it’s just that your first approach didn’t help you as much as you thought it would and that means that you have to go back and spend some extra time on stuff. That’s fine. You’re good.

Happy coding.


It is totally fine to struggle.

Plus this is your first programming language so the learning curve will be different from html and css.

I think with time and practice a lot of these concept will start to make a lot more sense.

When I first started the javascript section as few months back, I was confused a lot too. But slowly and surely, certain concepts started to finally make sense.

And it will happen for you too :smiley:


Finding fun things for you to do to practice helps seat the things you learn into memory. I’m a firm believer that surrounding yourself with whatever you are trying to learn, helps you learn that one thing much deeper. I recommend looking into ‘Programming Games’. There are many out there. A good JS game is Screeps. Check them out and see if that would be something helpful.

so basically i just did the tribute page and forget some tag and some attribute so i just looked on google with W3Schools as well do you thing is cheating or even the pro look on internet sometime ?

I don’t go a day without having to look something up in the documentation somewhere. :slight_smile:


I’m in the same position as you so don’t worry at all! It’s normal when learning new things. Keep going, practice is the key :slight_smile:

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