I have a confession...sometimes when I'm stuck, I'll copy the solution

Yea, I’ll confess. I feel horrible for doing it, but sometimes I’ll look at the instructions and stare blankly at the screen, then ill click on the “get a hint” link, read the explanation, and still not understand. Finally, out of sheer frustration and to just move on, I’ll copy the solution and write it as is on my page. Am I the only one doing this? Will I get banned from FreeCodeCamp for doing this? Does coding get easier or is my mental capacity capped at a limit unable to grasp this? If I’m not banned, I can really use some help here…


@JimBean if you copy the answer, compare it to the code you wrote and see what you did wrong, if you do that and know why you didn’t understand the topic, then copying the answer is ok, but delete the code you copied and write the answer back from scratch.

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mental capacity capped? What a downer :wink:

the challenges are not meant to be solved instantly. If its taking you more then a few hours to solve an algorithm, take a break and skip it. You can always come back later.


I would recommend writing code based on the solution rather than copy and pasting. That way you still start to learn without blatently copying it.


This has been discussed millions of billions of times already.


If you are plagiarizing code, you can have your certificate(s) invalidated. I’m not sure if you’re ever formally banned (you’re never going to be banned from the forum just for seeking help), but you don’t want to be doing this for your projects or the required algorithms. It’s better to write something crappy that’s definitely yours than to copy a perfect solution from Stack Overflow.

It does get easier, but you have to put effort into it. Staring at the screen for a bit is not the same thing as working though the problem. Write things down if you have to. Draw pictures. If you’re copypasting before you write a single line of your own code, then you’re only cheating yourself and wasting your own time. This is especially true if you’re doing this just to advance to the next challenge since they get progressively more difficult and build on skills.

Go back to the challenges you’ve skipped and do them properly, not because you’re afraid you’ll get kicked out of FreeCodeCamp (you won’t), but because that’s how you learn.


When I attended a bootcamp, one of the instructors, who contracted for NASA, gave us the advice:

Artists, when starting out, copy the work of those that came before them. All great artists learn this way.

There’s nothing wrong it, IMO. Also, I agree with @anon52159105. Great advice.

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Like already mentioned, this has been asked a bunch of time and usually, the way I feel about it is if you are going to look at the answer, make sure you do not move on until you understand why the answer works. If you just copy without learning what is going on, you’re just staring at a computer copying text from one window to another when it stands to reason that you’re on the website to learn to code. Wish you the best of luck, and this forum is also here for when you get stuck before you look at the answer as well.


I totally agree with username1001 above.
Has no one here never heard of “forking”?

I grab a solution to look at it.
I examine every part of it from top to bottom.
I change what I don’t like.
I add what seems to be missing.
Pretty soon, I have modified practically every line of code, added more than was there beginning, and removed what seemed inadequate.

I do not call this “cheating” as there is absolutely no motive but to learn.

If you look at a solution to study/dissect/learn from it, that’s okay in my book. I do that too looking at other people’s code. It’s a way to learn.

^^ from what you said above, it looks like you just cheated/fooled yourself.

The goal of the FCC challenges is not to get the FCC Certificate to show/brag to your future employer.
The real point of the challenge is so that YOU learn.
There are people here who successfully got jobs without completing or having an FCC Certificate.
If you’re copying code just to “move on”… my question is "Move on to where? move on to what? "

And what’s going to happen if you got hired by a future employer, and they gave you an assignment?
How are you going to tackle it? There won’t be a website containing ready-made “solutions” for your employer’s project.


Thank you all for the support and advice. I haven’t responded to anyone in particular, but everyone’s advice has been helpful. Thank you Portable Stick for the articles posted, Im happy to know I’m not the only one.

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I think half of the people here is doing this…I mean they also copy the codepen projects to pass…

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I hope not. Why do you think that? What source provided you with that conclusion? I would hope that the majority here are trying to do the projects on their own. There’s a difference between inspired by and downright copied.

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I don’t think many active members earnestly trying to learn to program are doing this. JUST copy-paste won’t yield very good results in the job search department that is for sure.

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Yeah but your not inventing anything new. Everything is possible on FCC and its been done many times before you. Its not like your going down your own path and need others work.

He is admitting to copying, which shows he has motivation to learn. I suggest instead of copying, to ask for help on these forums and avoid gitter. If a person just links you to a article and leaves you with that, with poor explanations, avoid them. completely. Those are the unmotivated people, whom you should not get help from. Just start a forum post, even for every challenge because its a snowball affect if you never learn and continue on. Get the help you need, at your level. We don’t care if you start a post for every topic. You should better learn now, then later on. Its easy to help you now, for instance, 30 times/ posts then you 10 times and have you quit later on as you don’t know how to do it when its more complicated.

I’m not entirely sure what your point is. :confused:

The question is not, are you cheating? The question is, are you learning?


The best part of trying challenges on your own is spending a few hours looping through an array and doing increasingly complicated for and while loops, submit the solution then looking at what other people did and you discover a 3 line solution using array.reduce.

No way you’ll forget about that function again


Some people actually learn better from seeing the answer to a question and seeing how that answer was worked out and obtained. I had an algebra teacher in High School who taught like this, she would give us the answers and tell us to show how they were worked out. If you are going to look up the answer, find different solutions, study how they got to the answer they got, work out your own. There are always at least 3 good answers to each algorithm on FCC. If you have to start over on the basics and work your way up to the ones you can solve, you will get better with time. Algorithms are not an easy study so expect to spend an hour plus on each one even if you do look the answers up. Take it from me, I have solved some on my own, others I needed the help of Coding360, Stephen Mayeux, and other Medium articles. As long as you understand how and can solve one later without their help is what your training for. Nobody can remember all the semantics of programming so you will always need help!


I totally agree with @arw2015 . best response

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I did the same thing… Then I understood that by copy-pasting I won’t learn anything, I had to reset my freeCodeCamp account. Now if I’m stuck, I search the solution on Github, then I copy the solution code to text editor, and my code to other text editor, then I compare two codes, and I find mistakes in my code.

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