Intermediate Front End Challenges, are you kidding me?

What just happened?? This site was going pretty smoothly up till the basic algorithm challenges. Everything seemed to be progressively getting a little more challenging, but in a good way where we learned about how to do the stuff before we were given challenges.

Then I finished those and have a firm grasp of the basic challenges. I move onto the JSON and API section which was more or less a joke that didn’t explain a single thing besides that there is something you can do with JSON and call an anonymous function after that, and then embedding HTML into several nested loops, and it didn’t explain any of this.

It was more along the lines of, here is some code, copy paste it in a viola! “You get it right?” After those few lessons of 30k foot view of how JSON works (still didn’t explain anything). It has us doing challenges with really no explanation besides here’s what it looks like now get to work!!

I had really high hopes for FCC because so far this is the first site that has gone in pragmatic order of learning about code. Often times I find sites explain a few things then are like ‘here ya go now do this seemingly ridiculous challenge after reading a few sentences’.

Seems like I’ve reach that point with FCC :frowning: am I the only one experiencing this? Am I just automatically supposed to understand how JSON works now after 3-4 paragraphs? There were no links to any additional resources. Please help!!


Don’t expect to understand anything from this point onwards the first time you attempt it. Once you get to intermediate and beyond the self learning kicks in.

You’ll have to leverage the FCC forums, stackoverflow, MDN, etc for answers to the questions you have.

Dont get discouraged, it’s totally normal to be thrown in the deep end at that point because you are!


Hi there, part of coding is learning how to find your information in Google, Stackoverflow, asking people on forums etc. etc. I’ve finished all the FCC certs here and everytime I got stuck I took a step back, learned about the topic and came back to solve the challenge. So best way for you now would be to Google what JSON is and probably Async API calls, go through it until you have a basic knowledge of it and try to solve the challenges with that knowledge. You will get there, just move 1 step at a time :slight_smile:


I understand how you feel, I felt similar when I got to that point.

I recommend trying out this AJAX course. I felt a lot better going into the intermediate projects once I did that. Finish the course within the free trial then cancel your subscription.

I had really high hopes for FCC because so far this is the first site that has gone in pragmatic order of learning about code.

I felt like that once too, but once I accepted that FCC never claimed to be a one stop shop for learning to code and that it’s best to utilize as many resources as possible, I saved myself frustration and become a better learner.

Congratulations on making it to the intermediate projects!


I’d like to echo what others have said. If you’re not understanding something, it’s up to you to seek out a variety of resources until you feel comfortable with the subject.

Getting as far as the intermediate front end challenges is an awesome accomplishment, but if you want to continue coding you’re going to have to get used to feeling frustrated and confused a lot.


I’ve gotten stuck a bit working on algorithms. A few things I’ve started to realize.

  1. Stay consistent and keep the momentum! I’ve taken weeks off at a time which knocks me back two steps when I try to pick up where I left off.

  2. I may have completed previous material, but I either didn’t fully understand or forgot the concepts. It never hurts to reattempt or review previous challenges.

  3. As the challenges get more difficult you will need to use the search-read-ask method. Move into self learning mode.

  4. If your stuck or frustrated, move on to another tasks to keep the momentum going. You can always revisit tasks later. It is amazing how many times you will be stuck for hours, just to come back the next day and find a solution in 5 minutes.

Keep Grinding!


Wow thanks everyone for the support! I woke up this morning feeling a bit silly for writing this post because I was a bit complainy in it (I was pretty tired and heading to bed right before I wrote that), and I’m super surprised people stepped in to encourage me to keep going! Thanks!!

My biggest frustration that stemmed from the OP is the fact that I figured the training would continue within FCC in terms of learning JSON, etc. etc. I certainly can and have learned how to do some web dev stuff on my own through ‘the google’, but I find that when I do this I generally just end up copy/pasting code from others that have had similar challenges. This results in me not really ‘learning’ but to just be a decent ‘script kiddie’.

I wanna get good at coding, and understand how to write code! Not good at copy/pasting… I actually was a member of Team Treehouse so I might reenroll for a month to take that course first, but again, thanks everyone for the support!!

Onwards and upwards!


Awesome @sethdcd, it happens! Programming can be difficult and frustrating. I’m worked on algorithms tonight and I’m humbled once again. I’ve been programming for 6-7 years including for work and I still suck at it but I’ve realized I need to go “all in” now if I want to get good. I’m fully committed to put in in the time now because that is what it takes to get good. With that said, today is my day 1 of #100DaysOfCode!

I didn’t throw my computer through a window tonight.

Onwards and upwards!


I have 24 intermediate/advanced algorithms and 9 of the 10 projects left in front end… about where I have been for the last two months. I know that feeling. I hit a wall and just took a break to read the You Don’t Know JavaScript books (1/2 way through the third one) and the author was right… I DON’T know JS. But in the break I am also taking a Python course, and find that it’s helping me get better at problem solving, so maybe when I get back at the remaining obstacles to that front end cert, I won’t feel as lost as I did when I first hit the basic algorithms.


I have wondered this myself 7-8 years ago. Coding was like archeology to me, nothing seemed to make sense ALL the time. Back then, there was no sites like FCC that’ll provide a somewhat a structure to follow, the only place that offers that was uni and colleges. Felt like a complete failure during this whole time because I wasn’t able to “grasp” all these languages at the same time.

But then I started to understand that you are not suppose to know everything right off the bat. How can you? The coding language had been developing for more than 20+ years and keeps on increasing. It wouldn’t make sense to expect full understand of such a large topic. The lesson I learned here is learn to find information when you need it

When it comes to getting better with coding, I think most institute fail to get this point across is that you have to drill it till you get it. The foundation of programming relies heavily on variables, loops and conditions. If you are having trouble with these concepts, you’ll find that it is difficult to move ahead. Keep practicing the basics until you can figure out challenges with these components.

Then lastly, do projects of your own with everything that you know. You don’t have to worry about whether it is industry standard quality, the fact is you can do it with the resources you have. It pushes you learn how programming CAN be use.

Just keep coding. You’ll always find it confusing until it is not. Lol


re: THAT one skill.
Like this? :grin:


I cannot say this enough, but do not do this! Even when you are at your wit’s end and feel you must copy from someone else, at least retype it yourself. It makes a difference, mainly by forcing you to slow down and think about each thing you type.

You’ll probably make typos, and then you’ll have to find those typos, and in doing so you will be forced in some small way to confront the code you don’t understand.

This is true for FCC and code you find on the web. I do wish that FCC had emphasized this point more themselves in the JSON section you refer to. You would have been forced to understand it at least a little better if you had retyped it rather than copy-pasta.

As a broader response (and in agreement with previous posters) there comes a point when you have to bite down and make the move from doing exactly what someone tells you to do, to synthesizing something that is your own. You’re going to need to learn that sometime to succeed, why not now?

Finally, as you have now realized, FCC is not a course of study so much as it is a roadmap for what you should learn. That is a good thing in my book.


P1xt always puts it in prospective! Do what P1xt says!!


I agree with @benjaminthedev. If you can take only one thing from this thread, it should be ‘Do what P1xt says’


glad you all agree with p1xt’s arrogant response of just do it. pretty sure if it was as easy as just googling a few things and putting 2 and 2 together there would be a lot more programmers in the world…

let me start over with asking… where can i even find random quotes? yes i have googled it and i found a few but they don’t seem to be working when i use the .getJSON.’

is there a definitive source that this project uses for getting the json list?

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Well I wouldn’t say p1xt is being arrogant, just blunt. That being said, no there is not a definitive Api to use for that project. And that’s the point, you have to go out, find an api that does what you want, look up the docs for that api and then implement it. Is it easy, no. However this is the kind of real world problem that you will have to deal with a lot as a Web developer. That’s what he was getting at. Google just shows you where to start, it’s then up to you to do the research. You can always ask for help, if you run into problems on the implementation stage.

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Good awsner. Its this exact reason that I like FCC. It dosnt hold your hand. You want to be a web developer? This is what that looks like. Heres your problem. Heres what It might look like solved. Now Solve it. It makes completing the bonfire that much more rewarding.


Sounds good. I think I had a bit of a break through so I’ll just keep after it. Thanks!


in other words…

there is no definitive answer. this is not school.

you don’t gain more marks if you use motivatioal quotes instead of design quotes. :grin:

Seems like I’ve reach that point with FCC

You’ve reached the point where things get hard. Now you either quit and move on to another site, but the same thing will happen anyways, or you persevere and learn to look up resources on your own. You’ll always have to do this anyways, because you’ll encounter problems daily on the job that you cannot solve with your current knowledge and need to search a reference or docs or whatever.