Frustrated at lack of explanation


I have been working on freecodecamp for a week and a half, and was doing really well! So well I thought that it was almost too good to be true, but now I’ve hit a brick wall.

I was working on the quote generator, and the weather app, and realized that I actually have no idea how to use javascript, or AJAX or even really jQuery other than by following directions and copying other people’s codes. I don’t really seem to understand what anything actually meant, so when I finally got to stuff like build a weather app, the only way for me to figure out how to use API’s was to find other people’s examples. when I was going through the lessons did I miss something? I’m not entirely sure how javascript fits in with HTML and CSS, other than to store data.

I also feel like jQuery makes no sense to me. I can copy the code from the lessons, but then when I have to use it for myself I have no idea what I’m doing.



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Well - the world hasn’t told you you can’t look for other outlets of explanation - if what FCC provides you isn’t enough - there’s a whole world of the web out there

various references in other places to go into more detail

I can understand how you might feel this way if you don’t have any experience with web-development prior to starting the courses on FCC.

The only suggestion I can make is to use all the resources available to you outside of FCC. Whether that be purchasing some books, reading documentation, or watching YT videos. FCC does a great job at introducing you to certain concepts but it won’t make you an expert with any of them.

In order to gain true expertise with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or anything else in web-development, you have to be willing to dig deeper. Don’t understand what $.ajax() does? Google it. Figure out what’s really happening when you write that code.

Good luck.

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Do you have any previous experience in programming with a general-purpose language? If not, I might recommend doing an “Intro to programming” type of MOOC, there are plenty of good (and free) ones on Coursera and Udacity. Once you’re familiar with concepts like variables, loops, functions, etc, everything should fall into place.


i’ll look into these. I just definitely felt like the functions and how to use them were really vague.

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I started the course on jQuery on Udacity as @P1xt suggested. It’s truly a great resource. I found some other courses there as well that I think would be a great additional resource for learning.

I am at the same point as you, @slarias. I should build a random quote machine, but I am not doing it right now - thanks to really helpful people here, I made a plan to finish jQuery and Javascript course on Udacity, as well as research Javascript objects, JSON and AJAX as much as I can, from various sites, to understand them much more clearly.

After all, I believe what FCC said early on - we should take our time. Learning programming is not a race, but a marathon. :slight_smile:

Hang in there man! This is just a part of developing software. We all get stuck, I remember spending a couple days (16 or so hours over 2 days) on the challenge to build the weather app trying to figure out CORS and Ajax calls. It can be pretty complicated, not to mention calls to other domains which are on https vs plain http. That was months ago, just the other day I spent about 8 hours on a bug in a react app that just turned out to be something really minor in my code. My advice, when you finally figure out a really difficult subject, put it into a blog post. You’ll have a great resource when you run into that problem again and you’ll learn it better if you write about it.

Just to reiterate, how you’re feeling is totally normal. Your frustration has been felt by every single person trying to learn to code at one point or another. Just keep looking for more resources and reading everything you can find on a subject until you get a real understanding of how to make it work!

thanks for suggesting this. I did Udacity’s course on jquery and on AJAX and found it pretty helpful!

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thanks for the advice! I needed to take a step back and do more reading!

yeah it really did help. I went back and now my quote generator works a lot more!

I found the same thing, that I couldn’t even start the Random Quote Machine.
I even pasted Get Geolocation Data challenge into CodePen and it didn’t work and I have no idea why.

@eandersonai Just take it slowly, take as much time as you need - but do it every day and do not ever give up!
A few days ago, I couldn’t understand a single thing about AJAX calls and using APIs. Now I have built my random quote machine and I am finishing the local weather app - and I do understand the code I have written.

Just be persistent, like in any other job - anything can be learnt!
I second the jQuery and AJAX courses on Udacity - they are really simple and amazing!

Thank you @Milos2709. This is very helpful in terms of information (I just singed up for Udacity). And also in terms of knowing that this is not something I am doing wrong and other people go through the same thing.

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@slarias Take it easy. It happens… Its just matter of practice. More you practice more you get habituated. keep exploring. Things will be fine soon.

@slarias sounds like youre doing pretty damn good for 5 days. I know how ya feel though - I was there not long ago.

Something that helped me when I was learning html and python (and I’m still learning), was to go through my code line by line, and anything I didn’t completely understand, comment it. If you can’t remember how a while loop functions, or how to correctly reference a class, look it up and write it down as a comment in your code. Then if you get stuck later on, you can go back and use it as a reference.

Eventually, and it may seem like a distant and possibly futile hope right now, you will understand what every single line in your code does, and why you wrote it the way you did. (And when you do, you’ll frequently say “Oh my God! What was I thinking?!”) Better yet, you’ll know enough to build something from scratch. A builder who doesn’t know how to use his tools, doesn’t get a whole lot built – and what he does build is rickety and prone to falling over. Coding is not sorcery. You can learn this stuff if you believe in yourself and keep at it.

I’ve been feeling the same way, especially today which has been particularly frustrating.

Like @Perfidion I have been heavily commenting any code I didn’t fully understand when I was looking it up. I even put links to sources if I feel future-me will be particularly confused. I’ve also started keeping a library of my solutions on my own machine so that I can reference them offline.

It helps. it really does. It just seems like some days are particularly bad. “Can’t brain today, I’ve caught the dumb” is generally how I feel about it. Those days (like today), I spend a LOT of time reading on MDN, w3c, and StackOverflow and try not to feel too frustrated that I’m not completing challenges.

Anyway, have a cheerful pug: :dog:

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Importantly, I find FCC teaches you to search for answers instead of going the codecadamy way of force feeding.