Finding everything including and after the Golf Code really hard

So I’ve been find the JavaScript quite easy and breezing though most of the lessons. I rarely look at solutions and when I do I make sure I actually understand them rather than treating them as a cheat code. (then re-do that lesson without looking a few days later to check it has sunk in. Then re-do it again and again later in the week.)

Then I got to the Golf Code. All of a sudden I had no idea where to start. Looking up online didn’t help much and everything I learned previously in FCC didn’t seem to help me either. I’m now on the switch statements part and that is also hard and confusing. I do not know where to start with the syntax at all. I don’t want help with this lesson or any other specifically.

What I do want to know is if there anywhere I can play around with JavaScript by making my own coding experiments outside of the lessons? Or any other advise where to go to understand JavaScript better?

Because this sudden difficulty jump has caught me off guard and it is demotivating me to go from finding something easy to feeling like I barely know what I’m doing. :worried:

Javascript is hard. It is a different sort of thing from HTML and CSS.

Playing around with different tasks is definitely a great idea. A good way to do this is to add ‘extra’ requirements to a challenge. You have a passing solution? Cool, now can you do ‘task x’ backwards? What happens if you change up the order of the code? Experiment. Break stuff.

And when you get stuck, ignore the solutions… Come onto the forum and explain what you’re trying to do and where you’re stuck. Describing problems can actually help you solve them.

Javascript is all about using the syntax to lay out a strict set of logical steps for the computer to follow. That takes practice to get good at.


That is a good point. I should just go to the forums really and ask. I’ll work it out myself much better that way and learn far more.

…especially since I’ve told people to not ask for coding solutions when helping them yet I’ve been looking at them myself. (There isn’t a ‘I am a hypocrite and feel ashamed now’ emoji or I’d put it here.)

Playing with the tasks sounds great! I’ll go back and do that. Golf Code ect here I come!

HI @EllaGriff !

The earlier lessons seemed easy because you were tasked to do one task at a time.
Some examples of this were the create a variable or create an array, etc.

But as you get deeper into the course, you will be asked to solve problems which will require recalling multiple lessons and breaking the problem down into smaller manageable pieces.

When you encounter one of the challenges, step away from the code for a second and think about how you would solve it as a human.

Write down the steps on how to solve it as a human.
That is an algorithm.
Then slowly translate that set of steps into code.

If you need help translating that into code, then post in the forum your written out algorithm of how to solve the problem as a human and we can help you translate those steps into code.

This process will come in handy for the later courses and in real life development.

There will be many times on the job where you will dive into an unknown codebase with unfamiliar technologies.
But you start by identifying what the problems are, come up with a solution, then translate that solution into code.

That is where you will look up documentation, stackoverflow, forums, etc.
Also asking questions on how to translate steps of your algorithm into code.

I would suggest working through sites like Exercism to help you with the problem solving and learning javascript alongside the fcc courses.

Hope that helps!


That…is very, very helpful advise. I’ve never thought of asking ‘how would I solve this as a human?’ then translating it into code. Thank you.

And I will look at that website too, thank you for the link!


I would suggest working through sites like Exercism to help you with the problem solving and learning javascript alongside the fcc courses.

Shoutout to Exercism, my second favorite foss learning platform :innocent:

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It is a common idea that it is bad to ask for guidance or suggestions, but this is a thought pattern that should be challenged.

Back in the day, mid-1990s when Javascript was in its infancy, there was a lot of appeal for “loner coders.” Lone wolves, one-person shops, call it what you will - this was new and unexplored territory and we had to learn all this on our own. MDN and Google were science fiction. Dev teams were using C, COBOL, and other server side languages.

That has changed. There’s a reason that freeCodeCamp repeatedly advises Read-Research-Ask. Modern dev ecosystems are teams, and Javascript is a part of that team. In order to be a valuable part of that team, we need to be able to ask and answer questions. We need to learn to communicate effectively, so we don’t waste days of productivity on something a ten minute Q&A could resolve.

But yes, building outside the lessons and playing with code is hugely helpful. I’ll often take the starting code, copy it into a, and play around and break stuff.

Then come back here or join the one of freeCodeCamp’s chat options and discuss why it broke.

Discouraging yourself from asking for help… Mind if I ask why? For some it’s pride, for some it’s fear, some were just raised independent.


Yeah I’ve started asking for help with Javascript and it’s going well! I’m getting there with it now.

As for why I don’t like asking for help, I was labelled as a ‘gifted’ kid. I was a fast learner and creative. But this label meant I was under constant pressure to preform academically lest I became seen as not-gifted. Asking teachers for help resulted in me being told ‘surely you don’t need help to do that? You’re so smart!” ect.

I’m in my 20s and asking for help is still a struggle because of that sense of shame for needing it because I’m supposed to be ‘smart’. But I’m getting there with asking for help too.

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Woah, thanks for this. I love collecting good learning platforms!

Also, to the OP, don’t give up! This is hard stuff, but it’s not impossible. Persevere and you shall achieve what you want!

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