If JavaScript lessons make no sense

Bear with me here, because this isn’t just another confused rant, I do have a point. I haven’t had much luck with JavaScript because most resources just ask for you to repeat the code. I have no chance to actually figure out a solution myself, at least at the beginner level, so nothing sticks. But, I think I figured out a tip that might also be useful for others who have the same problem. Code in general makes more sense to me if I have a reason to use it and practice it, and I had already had a need for JavaScript in a current side project I’m working on. So I’m currently taking a small break from my usual studying to build an interactive sign up page. Because I have to actually understand it to do it, I’m hoping it might stick better. Then once I understand the basics needed to do that, I feel like I’ll have the basis for continuing my studies. I don’t know, it’s probably not the best thing but I’m at that confused point where if I don’t try something I might give up. And that’s not at all what I want. I’m mainly posting this to clarify my thoughts for myself but if it helps someone else, that’s great.

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Working on projects is the core philosophy of Free Code Camp.

You might not be up to them yet, but the intermediate and advanced front end projects are designed to help you use the JavaScript you would have learned up until that point.

Your own project idea is good, but it does require an understanding of backend technologies as well as front end. This is fine, of course, but much harder than the projects suggested in the curriculum.

Also, if something isn’t sticking, discuss it with others on the forum - that’s what we are here for :slight_smile:

Happy coding!

Actually, it’s that nothing is sticking because I can’t practice it. I’ve gotten to the Basic Algorithm Scripting and I don’t remember how to do any of it because I hadn’t actually retained any information, I wasn’t actually learning anything. Nothing was used after it was taught, and the solutions to the problems were the same as the example. I didn’t have anything to figure out or think about. I understand that what I want to do requires more than just front-end but the part I’m doing now is just the front end part. It’s not that I don’t understand exactly it’s that I need to be able to actually apply it in order for it stick. The curriculum doesn’t do that, nor do many other resources I’ve tried, so in order for me to actually learn anything I need to practice on my own.

When I started learning to code at Codecademy, I would delete all the provided code and type everything on my own through a combination of memorization and actually understanding the concepts. If I made a mistake, even the slightest syntactical error, I would force myself to do the exercise all over again from the beginning.

Of course the memorization part doesn’t necessarily help to grasp the concepts, but the rewards-based repetition trains the mind, eyes, and hands. That eventually takes away the distraction of syntax, allowing the concepts to come into focus.


I understand its a bit dissapointing to discover you belong to the 99,99% of the people who dont have a photografic memory. The good thing is you also / already discoverd the remedie: practise! Ureka!


Think of the initial exercises as an introduction to JavaScript rather than the thing that makes it stick. You do need to supplement what you are learning and expect to keep needing to look things up while you try to apply what you are learning to the algorithms and projects.

Most people on here experience the same learning journey you are describing and there are plenty of other resources linked to throughout the forum. Many of us find a lot of value in w3schools, MDN (Mozilla Developer Network), and the free book series You Don’t Know JS.

Don’t let yourself be discouraged by the fact that you don’t understand JavaScript after the initial introduction. That’s a little like being disappointed that you can write a novel after a few days spent learning the alphabet.

Instead, realise that you will have a decent grasp of JavaScript once you’ve finished the Intermediate algorithms, but until then you’ll need to put some work in and keep practicing and reviewing what you learn.

Good luck :slight_smile:

I’m just saying that I personally would like more practice and that this is how I’m doing it. I feel like others may be in the same position and that maybe they should try this. I don’t see the point in pushing through with the course when even when I look up how to do it and how it works, none of it sticks. If I’m not learning anything then, I need to do something that will make me learn it. And it’s not that I don’t understand it, because I do, I just don’t retain anything with the way this is going. I find myself retaining more of it as I work on my own projects using the things I’m studying. I don’t see a problem so long as this works for me.

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Not only is this not a problem, it’s the natural progression everyone makes towards being a productive programmer. I dare say that programming projects is the one and only way to really learn to program. Even if you retained 100% of what you did through the exercises, you would not have learned the material in the same way you do when using it to create from your own mind. This isn’t unique to programming, either. Production is the gateway to mastery.


There is learning and there is practice: they are two sides of a coin and you can’t learn programming unless you do both.