General advice when stuck on a problem, need your insight

General advice when stuck on a problem, need your insight


Hi guys,
I’m very new to programming and FreeCodeCamp.
I’m currently about 200 challenges in, doing as many hours as I can muster.
I have gotten by so far without too much help, a quick forum read or a question in the Gitter which is great.
Now I’m getting to the stage where I’m becoming stuck/challenged quite frequently and I’m at a crossroads with the best way to learn, not just progress.

Do you guys just look up the forum, find an answer and implement or do you sit and ponder the problem with maybe just a push in the right direction.
I’m at a problem now that I think I have 50% of the solution for and could spend a few hours reading back through some of the previous challenges and in a day or two I might crack the problem.
I could also just find one of the forum pages with a pretty detailed explanation of what I need to do.

My main query is that I might not learn the solution if I just read the answers.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts.




Sometimes it helps to break the problem down into steps, on paper, without worrying about language specifics and syntax stuff. Like with pseudocide, a flow chart, or just each step in your own words.
I have found some of the challenges seemed unsolvable because I did not quite get what they were asking to be done.
Once you understand the problem to be solved and can get in your head how you want to solve it, then you can start looking on MDN at the different tools available in the language to help you complete the task.
This method rarely results in that fancy compact and highly unreadable “19 steps on one line” solutions you findi in the forum, but at this stage we just want to make stuff work… to solve the problem no matter how ugly the code.
THEN go see what the ES6 gurus did in 5 lines that took you 30+.
I’m only in about 317 so far (and some of that was watching videos and learning git from the back-end challenges)
Learning how to solve the problems seems to be what we should be doing, learning how to interpret what some of these challenges are asking is also probably good training for when you land a dev job and have to work on a vague customer request.


If I feel that the problem is solvable by just trying it for sometime brainstorming, I would try it or if I feel like it is getting difficult or I require even more additional concepts to solve it, I would take the help of Internet. I try searching google or ask anyone to help me out.

You said that your main query is that you might not learn the solution if you just read the answers. That is true. If the problem you are solving requires no special concepts and requires only logic, then I suggest you to not look for the answers on forum because logical thinking can only be improved if the problem is solved on your own. If you are stuck for some hours or days, then go search for answers on internet or forums and try not to miss that concept again (preferably write it over some where and revise later).