How do you guys get out of a rut?

In the process of making my portfolio page and it is just killing me. My brain feels fried, and things aren’t working out or cooperating. Obviously, I am at fault here since I am the amateur but how do you guys get out of these ruts?
I am thinking about redoing all of the code camp material and continuing where I left off.


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When I’m out of steam, I like to do the low-effort programming stuff. Watch Youtube videos, follow along with tutorials, or read a book. Anything where I can learn, take notes, and be more passive than I would be building something myself is a good break. Reviewing material falls under this, so go ahead and redo the lessons or head over to CodeAcademy or Khan Academy for something different. Sometimes, I just need a few minutes. Others, I need a whole week. Of course, it’s sometimes a good idea to do something completely unrelated, too. Play a game, go outside, play some music or whatever you do to unwind.

The key to doing this right is doing it sustainably.


Ok, thanks a lot! I will give this a shot.

Nah, you don’t get a head by moving backwards… don’t turn around and trudge back from where you started from…you’ve made it this far, focus on keeping the forward momentum going.

There is no “fault” to be had (unless you stop altogether…then that is a conscious decision and you’ll never get any further for sure!) Its just the way learning is…no one starts out knowing everything. We mere mortals are not omnipotent, so we’re all stuck with struggling through the frustrations that come with learning something new. :slight_smile:

So instead of generally feeling defeated, pinpoint the problem… what is it exactly about the portfolio project that is killing you? I checked out your codepen and see that you are trying to get things started…effort is a good thing :smiley:

Don’t look at the final project as one huge mountain of stuff cause thats overwhelming for anyone… break it down into little bits of manageable stuff. What is the portfolio page? Its 3 sections of information, and a navigation bar. Thats it.

You completed the tribute project…thats a page with one section of information. You’ve got this…and already ahead of my train of thought here cause in your codepen…you already created a div with some content. But you need three of those, one each for About, Portfolio and Contact. So make two more of those.

The other thing you need is a navbar…again, you’re already on it… looks like you’re a bit stuck there, so head over to the Bootstrap documentation and check out the navbar component

Just…break the project down…and for sure, if your brain is feeling fried and you are starting to feel burnt out, like PortableStick said while I took forever writing this LOL give yourself a break. Take a total break from it all and then go back to it with a fresh mind…that in itself does wonders.


Hey, thanks for the reply. My current portfolio project was “private”.
here is the link for what I currently working on.
Two things I am getting hit with. First, think is getting my sublogo
under my primary logo.
Second, is getting the picture centered on the page with the about section directly under it.
As you can see under my code is absolute disorganized and scattered. That is how my brain is right now.
Thanks again for the reply. :slight_smile:

Hiding things!! lol Okay jeez, you are way further along than the one I saw in your codepen then…

Yeah…your code is pretty scattered… you have a ton of unclosed div tags, and to be honest, until you go through and make sure all your div’s have closing tags, you can’t fix the layout of your page because that will throw things off for sure. In your codepen, in the section where your HTML is, theres an arrow to the right of the HTML header…click on that and select “Tidy HTML” It’ll just clean up the formatting a bit so that its easier to see what you’re missing. Like, before your Lorem Ipsum text you have three opening div tags, but no closing div tags at all after it.

So yeah, go through your code and make sure all your tags are closed up and in proper order, otherwise it will be next to impossible to troubleshoot any layout issues. No wonder its killing you! hehehe…nah, no worries it happens. :smiley:


Take a bit of a break. Go for a run or something. then comeback, break it down into chunks and do it step by step. Chunks of like 20 mins. You can do it!

When you feel tired or frustrated, stop what you are doing, the worst thing you can do to yourself is continue; your brain is telling you it needs a break. I recommend relaxing for a bit, go for a walk, watch a movie, hang out with friends, etc.

You can come back in a few hours and you’ll have a new perspective on things. It’s the same with any task whether it be coding, learning a mathematical concept, learning to cook a new type of meal, etc.

I got through the HTML/CSS challenges easily but that’s because I’ve played with HTML/CSS (never super serious) since I was a kid; the javascript stuff for example is newer and has been a lot harder for me. Continue working and remember you can do it too and you’ll get your portfolio project complete.

Some recommended resources:

Hope this helps you get started :slight_smile:


I’d also add that if you feel like things aren’t working the way you want them to, I’ve found that using a white board is a really good tool. The whiteboard allows you to draw out your programs on a large scale, and takes you away from the screens for a little bit.

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That’s a good suggestion, I’m considering ordering a whiteboard in the near future.

Take a break. A real break. It’s amazing how a good break can re-energize you.
I’m not talking about a 20-minute walk - I mean taking a few days off completely.
We are so busy in life; our brains were not “programmed” to deal with all the minutia of modern daily life. All of it takes its toll.
A good few days putting aside your programming related studies (including coding, videos, reading, etc) can do you much good. I used to think that I needed to use all my free time to pursue my “web dev” studies but I soon realized that whenever life forced me to stay away from it for a few days my brain was recharged and I could continue from where I left off without any problem and with much more focus. Stare at some trees, do some fun activities, go out with friends and forget about programming. Your brain will not forget - it will thank you for the much needed break. Do this at least once a month. Or don’t. Just a suggestion.

A few days? A few hours at most and never ever sleep, that’s for humans, not us robots (just kidding!), I’d actually be opposed to a few days rather than a few hours since a few hours will push everything out of memory without wasting too much time. Keep in mind that this is just my opinion and you guys may agree/disagree, I really enjoy this so maybe it’s just me :confused: anyways remember you can do it, take whatever time you need, and then finish that project. freeCodeCamp estimates it’ll take you 50 hours to complete the project, now a more experienced developer can do those projects much faster, you are just beginning so don’t worry too much about it and you’ll finish in no time :slight_smile:


Go on YouTube and watch documentaries on AI!

Interesting choice, the big opinion is to take a break and focus on non-softwaredev related things.

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Oh Im with you on this… its like with exercise, you develop a habit and commit to it, take a rest day here or there, but.its a lot harder to get the motivation to start up again once you’ve stopped, than to keep a bit of momentum going by putting in even just a half hour each day. And indeed, if this is something you enjoy, walking away from it for that long would feel like torture!

Then again, I used the gym analogy cause I am totally that person…I went to the gym every day, on rare occasion 5 days a week for almost 6 months, I was on a roll, felt awesome, loved it… then my rest day turned into 2 rest days…which turned into 3 rest days…which turned into finally cancelling my gym membership after over 2 years of swearing I’m going to go tomorrow :laughing:

So yeah, for me personally anyway, it def is different for different people, its better that I make a habit of continuously practicing self moderation to keep myself from getting stressed out, take breaks and let my mind completely decompress for a couple hours. That way I dont burn out to the point I dont want to see code at all for days or worse weeks…which has happened. So I’ll watch a movie, take my dog to the park and get some fresh air, stuff like that then get back to it.

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I tend to enter in a state of delf-deprecation, I mean I insult myself for being so incapable and all that.

Then I take a break, review what I’m missing, learn and read things I may need to finish what I started. Then I come back and tackle the project from the same or a different perspective. Repeat until I get the job done.

freeCodeCamp is great however you are actually expected to apply yourself, no one is there to spoon feed you, you have to learn and problem solve, freeCodeCamp is more about learning to problem solve than it is about teaching you specific languages. Udemy isn’t my first choice for ‘quality’ content either.

Many younger people who don’t have business knowledge aren’t ready to start their own businesses and simply want employment in a stable company as a software developer.

freeCodeCamp produces quality software developers because they taught them to learn themselves without someone handing them the answers.


@anon52159105 Expectations? Apply yourself? Spoon-fed? You can’t be serious.

There’s a lot more beneficial courses where you don’t have to deal with the learning gap in between projects. The course I listed helps you move from one subject to the next, while still incorporating troubleshooting, problem solving, and becoming a Google search master.

I was only using my business knowledge as an example of what you will be able to achieve. The simple fact that you stated that Udemy isn’t your first choice in “quality content”, what is your first then?

I have been using online training since the late 90’s and Udemy has some of the best training out there. As long as you define what you want to learn, before you search on Udemy, you can absolutely find a badass course.

Maybe I missed something. Has freeCodeCamp changed its focus from web development to software development?

Also, you are using freeCodeCamp, so you are NOT teaching yourself, at all.

freeCodeCamp gives you challenges to solve, they provide links to various documentation references such as the Mozilla Developer Network, beyond that they have lectures on YouTube if you prefer that.

My first choice for learning is reading technical documentation such as the Mozilla Developer Network and the W3C Reference Materials. You take your time and read, then you work out possible solutions and problem solving.

I’ve seen a lot of low quality content on Udemy so I distrust it.

On freeCodeCamp you are expected to read reference material, and problem solve, they hand you nothing, you learn and become a better software developer.

Again I’ll state that a lot of younger users here don’t have a business background and it’d be a lot harder for them to start a successful business.

If you have concerns with the curriculum here, talk to the team - they can address specific gaps if you talk to them, please do not discourage already frustrated users on the forums from continuing with freeCodeCamp.

I totally agree with you about MDN. That is the first place that I start researching an issue, problem, or question. I think that we can all agree that that is one of the best resources.

As far as freeCodeCamp and going to YouTube videos, isn’t that exactly what the courses on Udemy do? Not really because they do them themselves.

However, I do agree that there is a lot of “crap” courses on Udemy. To find a good one it is just like Googling anything, be better at your searches and you will find the “golden” courses.

My business background has little to do with anything in my post. I only stated it because I took the one Udemy course that I put a link to, and I got an actual job within 2-3 weeks after completion. I don’t think that I’ve heard that from the freeCodeCamp curriculum. Literally, a couple of weeks after completion.

I am not discouraging people with the freeCodeCamp curriculum. If you pay attention to forum for them, there is nothing but problems and people getting discouraged about BEING a developer because of it.

I am offering an alternative to freeCodeCamp for the people that get frustrated or cannot work with their curriculum. You should be thankful that I am offering an alternative to this for those that need it.

There is a reason that there are so many frustrated posts in regard to the curriculum. It’s because it doesn’t work for a lot of people. I don’t want freeCodeCamp discouraging people that could be awesome developers, simply because the curriculum is not very fluid and does not work for a large chunk of people.

You should be thanking me for having a difference of opinion and also providing a solution to those that have a hard time with freeCodeCamp.