General algorithm question

For those who’ve completed the front end algorithm sections, did you ever throw your hands up in the air after some amount of time and reviewed answers to the specific algorithm and try to learn from that? I feel like at some point the juice isn’t worth the squeeze so I’m trying to draw a line in the sand.

I didn’t finish the front-end section (yet…) but I do have a CS degree, and I do that all the time. That’s why we have StackOverflow. The important thing is that you understand the solutions. I always try to go back to the problem the next day and see if I can figure it out on my own, just to reinforce it.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help on specific challenges here. Or search - there’s probably already several threads asking for hints on the same challenge.

I found many of the intermediate algorithm challenges to be very difficult / impossible without help.

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I’m feeling lazy (undercaffeinated) so I’m going to link my response to a similar question form yesterday:


All - thanks for the replies. I only recently hit a wall with the 4th-ish intermediate algorithm. I really prided myself with not using hints or asking for help. I’ll go ahead and search for threads specific on my algorithm and swallow my pride. And glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling out there…

Seriously, one of the things that makes Free Code Camp such a successful program is the community aspect. Discussing challenges and asking for help/advice doesn’t have to mean swallowing pride. It just means you’re using FCC the way it’s intended!


I sometimes just run through the list to see if I have a general idea of how to begin… sometimes it works, and other times not so much. Just underway in the intermediate algorithm challenges and can’t imagine where to begin on some. I have searched stack overflow and sometimes find a bit of code that makes everything click, but it’s making me wonder if I will ever be able to just look at any problem and come up with a solution… I would never have passed caesar’s cipher if I hadn’t found an example of using modulo for rot-13 deciding.
That’s the frustrating part, adding tools to the JavaScript tool belt with little idea of how and when to use them…

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I’ve hit the “wall” on several occasions while working on the FCC problems and challenges. As others have pointed out here asking your FCC peers for help is always a good approach, but sometimes the answer is to try to forget what you already know and go back to first principles.

Ask yourself - “do I understand the problem enough to start coding”. I continually fight the urge to just start coding before I’ve diagrammed the problem and mapped out possible solutions to it. In many occasions I’ve spent quite a bit of time Google searching not for solutions, but for references that explain a particular algorithm or technology. I’ve also written quite a few code snippets to test what I think I know to make sure it matches reality :wink:.

Finally, sometimes the answer is to just put it aside for a few hours. There is real power behind the science of letting your subconscious have time to mull over an issue.

I hope this is helpful. Don’t get too frustrated. You aren’t alone. We’ve all experienced this same situation and feeling. Good luck!

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100% agree. I catch myself even now referencing array.splice and array.slice to make sure my memory was right or not. You’d think by now some of those methods would already have sunk in. My first foray into the world of coding was taking Colt Steele’s web development bootcamp course on Udemy. I think he said at one point that he’s really only fully absorbed 20% of all there is in web development. In other words, he still searches for a lot of things on the web.

First bold: guilty as charged. I’ll be 15-20 minutes into coding an answer only to realize that I didn’t spend enough time absorbing the problem set.

Second bold: ditto. Just knocked out 3 other alg’s today. It’s good to take another route sometimes.

Also, Interview Cake sent out an e-mail the other day talking about how one of the creator’s mentee’s was able to knock the cover off the algorithm ball in interviews. Overtime she learned how to approach problem sets efficiently by taking note of the times where she struggled and then found an “aha!” moment; she then approached each problem set using the same kind of thought processes.

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