Halfway through basic JS, feeling sceptical :(


I just need some advice really, I’m halfway through the basic javascript courses and unlike with HTML and CSS, I don’t have a clue on earth how to apply and use any of what I have learned. Its like learning all the colours in the world before learning what a paintbrush is or how to use it.

Is this the case for everyone? I’m hoping this is normal, and it will all come together and make sense down the line…


@PAJM hey,

this is definitely normal mate, programming is a lot different to html or css, but dont worry if you stick at it you will understand it, it just takes some time, just try very small projects to start with like a calculator or clock, or even just get used to dom manipulation where you have a button and when you click it, it changes something on the page like the background color or you make a div move from left to right, then you can just experiment and keep adding stuff to it.

Just take things slow, when you learn something on the javascript course try and implement it into your project some how and mess around with it so you get some more practice and understand it better.


Yup. Very normal. There were some things that didn’t really click for a year.


Take this one for example…

I had to watch the video to stand a chance at even knowing how to pass this. It has never covered arr.push OR arr.shift… yet we’re meant to know to use these for this?

I guess it feels like back when I was learning CSS and I’d be like “cool margin: auto does this but I don’t know why” and later just understood it without overthinking it.

But it would be good if the guys at fCC popped this into the basic courses?

Thanks to both dudes above for the words of encouragement! I can say I couldn’t use any of what I’ve learned so far to make even a calculator or a button. Where as with HTML and CSS they tought you via making the wee penguin or cat app etc, can’t see anything like this in the JS courses though.

p.s. I love fCC, just not loving learning JS haha

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Just remember that this is hard - that’s why it pays well. If it were easy, it would pay minimum wage. Be happy that it’s hard. My job is hard, but I get paid a hill of money to solve puzzles all day.


you dont just have to learn javascript on here mate, i watched many many videos before i could build a project on my own, youtube taught me a lot and i still have to look up what things mean 2 years later and this is the same for most people too.


Yeah some alternative resources are needed I think, but I fully support fCC and plan to pay masses of donations to this site when I’m earning again.

The last post I made, I’m about to just copy the video, but I wont have a clue why, which makes me want to stay and study it, but its hard because its not explained like they are talking to a 4 year old which I probably need lol

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It normal and can get even worse as it was for me.
up-to this point you have been doing visual stuff but now, you are doing challenges which requires a new way of thinking which we are not use to. Its very different from anything non-programmers have done yet. I read somewhere when you doing something which requires a new way of thinking neurons in our brain rewires themselves. which takes time.
The JS certification says 300 hr coursework but it took me 3-4 months to get hang of it. and went through everything 2 times to solidify knowledge.

Although it was uncomfortable sometimes i was doing just 2 challenges a day and sometimes just one challenge took 2-3 days. In first iteration i could not solve most challenges without looking at solution.

And after completing JS part i felt other certifications will be even more tough. But it not, after some time you get your thinking patterns right and upcoming challenges seems normal. I have recently completed React & Redux and it wan’t as difficult as J.S certification challenges which i was expecting and node is also not that tough either after you get the fundamentals right.
My advice is finish all challenges once and redo all of them after some days if you get stuck in some challenge watch numerous Youtube videos on that topic, read MDN docs.

Just solve challenges at your own pace and don’t think to solve in 300hrs as mentioned on it. Everyone learns at a different pace look at answers if you need to just do challenges daily

and after that before solving the 5 project questions redo all the challenges again without looking at solution.

This beginning phase is the worst so try to get through it anyhow.
After 2 months you will think how come i was not able to solve simple stuff like this.
keep going.


Thanks man, I can definitely feel what you said about neurons rewiring themselves, I can feel them trying their very best to absorb and understand what I’m reading but they end up just going “nah dude, it just doesnt make sense, learn origami instead”.

Be prepared to get this feeling for one more month. cut social media overuse, solve Sudoku/chess to improve problem solving capacity of mind and when feeling burnout leave everything for two days.

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I recommend you do not move on until you know why. Don’t just blindly copy/paste. If you don’t understand a concept then google is your best friend. JS doesn’t get easier as you move on, it gets harder. If you don’t understand the basics then you will give up in frustration trying the harder stuff.

FreeCodeCamp is harder than lots of other beginner places. There are those who think this is a good thing–maybe because it encourages the habit of trying really hard, not giving up, and developing your persistence and reasoning to the fullest? I agree that these are good things! But on the other hand, it is very hard, harder than it needs to be in order to pass on the concepts. There is such a thing as starting off walking down the street and building up, rather than just jumping into the marathon.

I do think this place is great, if you are in the right mental place for it. Codecademy is easier, A Smarter Way to Learn JavaScript is easier–no shame in starting on that, and then coming back here when you have a bit of information and basic concepts down.


i feel the same way. i understand the concepts well enough and they are very intuitive, but the critical thinking and logic faculties of my mind are struggling with actually applying these concept professionally. I think that knocking heads together with other people in the same boat would be helpful.

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Omygosh! I’m having the exact same problem and I finished it! I didn’t learn a thing! Totally understand you there.


This is the exact reason why you should dive right in and build something. Even if it’s for yourself and no-one ever sees it.
When you learn all this stuff without context it’s hard to understand how it all fits together.
When you’re elbow deep in trying to solve a problem it all becomes clear.

Also, if this is the first time you’re reading and learning all of this, remember, you’re going to come back and go over all of this a few more times. Every time you’re going to understand it better and get a completely new perspective.

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