Hit a wall - Advice needed

Hey everyone, hope you are doing well.

I have been working through freecodecamp’s curriculum since late July. I’ve chugged along while completing both the first two certifications. I feel like everything was going fairly smoothly, until I hit react.

Man I feel stuck! I barely understood most challenges and had to look up help on most of them. Once I got some hints I was able to figure it out but I didn’t feel like I was learning much. TBH, I feel a touch burnt out and unmotivated to learn now. I have been pursuing this with the intention of making a career change into web development, but now I’m starting to wonder if I can hack it.

Has anyone hit this point? I think I might be missing a few basic skills, but I’m unsure of where to start. For example, maybe its time to start programming in an editor and using github?

Hey Ryan! I’m on React and Redux now and definitely got some of this.

I felt extremely overwhelmed starting in React. Now a few days and many hours later think I’m starting to “Get it”.

I went through the React step by step guide:

Then followed it up with the React tutorial:

And I feel like I have a much better grasp of it than I did. I still am not 100% but all new technologies are tough to learn! Stick with it!

I’m where you both are and driving myself crazy too. But I seem to remember also feeling this way with JavaScript. And I honestly think my best work so far has come from using JavaScript. So I’m hopeful about React - in the somewhat distant future.

I’ve been reading a lot of freeCodeCamp Medium articles, checking out the YouTube videos, asking questions in the gitter chatrooms, and stalking a couple of my friends for advice.

The FreeCodeCamp Let’s Pair Gitter Channel can connect you with others too.

I’m using the CodePen editor for my projects and I find it a little easier because I can see immediate visual / or not working feedback.

Hang in there. It will be worth it once you make your first awesome React project.

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I like your idea of “starting to program in an editor and using github”. It would provide you mind a new place “to play”, with all the new tools of you IDE/text editor (I personally recommend VSCode or Atom)

The other thing you can do is review, and experiment. This allows you to not feel so “under the gun” when it comes to challenges, as you can set your own goals. The key is to focus on learning, and reviewing what you know. Something as simple as re-doing one of your older projects in React is a good start.

The mind does better if given a “totally new environment” so setting up a local editor environment and learning to use it would be exciting (its like getting a new car!) and help you get back into things. At the same time learning how to develop React locally will provide you with true developer experience. You probably will run into issues, but it would be new challenges that should be interesting.

I mainly just recommend changing up your approach to give your mind a break, and give it a new viewpoint. It always, helps and after a while you can come back to where you are and keep the grind up. :smile:

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I’ve just recently finished the last project from the legacy front end cert and went through the React challenges recently.

I feel like I’m at the perfect point to jump into React because of what I’ve built so far and what I’ve learned along the way.

Learning Inheritance and the prototype chain as well as the ES6 Class syntax which is syntactical sugar for it definitely helps with React.

The last project I built, the Simon game, for some reason I built the whole thing inside an object. I just meant to write part of it in the object to manage state and maybe have a couple methods but it got out of control.

Point being I learned intimately about the this keyword as well as how to pass it around with bind and call. I later refactored and only used smaller object for the state but working so much with the this keyword before my refactor taught me a lot!

Another personal project I did was I wanted to display all of my YouTube favorites all on one page instead of having to click next over and over again. So I had to manually create code that spit out html that had other html nested inside with all the appropriate attributes etc but hated seeing messy strings of html.

To avoid the messy html strings I was using document.createElement to make elements and then filling it in with setAttribute, innerHTML, and using appendChild to nest.

I later learned about JS tempting engines like Mustache and Handlebars which would have helped me avoid all that.

My attitude, although I don’t know how practical it is, is to try and learn/practice/build enough until I run into the problems (or at least understand them) that these frameworks were built to solve.

One really motivating thing for me was learning to use API’s for the legacy weather, twitch, and quote projects.

The new curriculum is designed to let you jump around more so maybe rounding off more fundamentals or more build experience might make React come easier.

Two last things, It’s really motivating to build your own project of something fun that also uses everything you’ve learned so far. And FCC really requires you supplement it with books, videos, and tutorials.

And yeah, setting up your own development environment on your PC is a must. Just start with VS Code and a local web server.

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