My face is getting flat from slamming into walls! (or how do I get better at coding?)

Thanks for taking the time out to read my post. I’ve been using FCC for about a couple months and I’ve arrived at the section where I have to start solving basic algorithms (without examples). I was successful in solving the first one but after that, I wasn’t able to solve anything else without having to look up how other people have done it and I know that’s not how I’ll learn. After failing to solve them by researching and going back to earlier lessons, I’ve realized that my knowledge has many holes and that there are also methods that are used to solve the problems that have not been taught in the curriculum. The help forums are very hit and miss for me. Sometimes I am able to get someone to help me out especially when I was doing the simpler exercises. But I do believe that most of the trouble comes from not having enough knowledge about what kind of data manipulation is possible with JS. One thing that did help was doing JS exercises on codeacademy and then coming back to FCC because I was able to go over the same concepts several times. Here on FCC, it seems that I learn a new lesson once without coding a different problem. Any tips on how to improve my coding skills?

1 Like

@martyk311 It’s the purpose of the skill challenges, and projects to build up your skill. Being new to programming, it will take time, practice, research and patience to become better. With each challenge, FCC provides links to documentation. Reading documentation is apart of discovering how to use a specific technology. Then, if the documentation doesn’t help, you can Google on the subject. Taking pieces of information to create a solution is the “development” way of life. So, best advice, stick with it and have patience.

I feel your pain, or at least I can remember what it felt like. I’m sure many here will agree that the algorithms can be quite tough. I think you nailed the issue though when you said that there are many methods that haven’t been taught in the curriculum. You’re going to have to have to do your own reading to expand on that knowledge. Luckily there are two great resources for the methods you need to complete most of the algorithm challenges: Array Methods and String Methods

Thank you for all the suggestions and guidance. To be honest, coding was something I got into because I hear stories about how other people are getting jobs and feel like they are in control of their future again. I wish I had gotten into this when I was in my 20’s (I’m 40 now.) Debating whether or not I should go to a bootcamp but part of me is also thinking that many others who are younger are thinking about going that route and the labor market will soon be over-saturated with candidates who are much further ahead than I am in this. I’m not looking to make a 6 digit salary. I’d be satisfied making 40-50 a year doing this. Any thoughts?

When you say you’Ve tried getting help on the forums before, I think you mean the chat rooms / Gitter? I mean, this is your first post here on the forum :slight_smile:

If you have complicated questions, or even a simple question that ends up requiring a complicated answer, I would recommend asking here on the actual forum instead of in chat, since it is easier to get a substantive and focussed reply.

Also, @P1xt’s resources are solid gold!

1 Like

Good point. I realized I’ve been using the chat rooms when I click on the “help” button during the exercises. To be honest, I know that I have really big gaps in knowledge if I can’t formulate the right questions in order for others to help me out. It feels really good when I solve the problem on my own though even if it’s a simple one. Then as I progressed through the exercises, the ability for me to solve things independently suddenly went away. I feel that I’m wasting my time staring at the screen and not being able to progress any further. I did that one time where I’ve spent a couple hours just literally sitting there. Any suggestions on what I should do when that happens? How did you overcome those moments?

Well, that’s good news. I do understand that this takes time and people doing this professionally have probably been doing for years. I am skeptical about bootcamps getting someone ready to get a job coding within 4 months. Thank you for the links to the resources. I’ll start checking those out.

@martyk311 Like others have said, don’t worry about age focus more on skill and building up a portfolio of projects. For very a long time, I played around with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. I really just pulling in pieces to create a solution. I’m 45 yo, and I have only really started doing full-time ASP.Net MVC development for the last 5-years.

In development, there is so many domains to focus in to a make a career. What really counts is you having focus, self-motivation, pushing yourself, and constantly learning. The best advise is to just keep at it, and eventually it will become easier.

Some development domains

  1. Front-end Development
  2. Back-end Development
  3. API and Middleware Development
  4. Database Development and Administration
  5. User Experience
1 Like

Forum has been 10x better than Gitter, in my experience.

1 Like

Well, thanks again everyone! I really appreciate the feedback and support! I used pursue music professionally but now I just do audio engineering as a hobby. If there’s some way I can help let me know.
So if I wanted to do Front-End development (that’s websites right?), would companies like wix and squarespace get rid of those types of jobs?

There is a degree to which website building platforms like Wix, Squarespace, Wordpress etc do take some of the web building jobs away from front end devs, but there are many scenarios in which they can’t really compete with custom-made sites.

In particular, anything that has to rely on quite specific or unique business logic that is not easily generalised out to a broad platform won’t be replaced by Wix anytime soon.

If you learn a little backend as well - say, enough to make your own APIs - then you also open yourself up to the possibility of building for the ‘Internet of Things’. That will be another market that explodes and can’t really be served by generic platform providers just yet.

The other thing to consider is that with the rise in VR, the types of browsers we build for over the next 10 years could change beyond all recognition. If you have learned the skills to build with existing technologies, then you’ll have the capacity to learn newer platforms as they arise. Something like Wix might not make the transition to newer tech that well, but that’s not to say there won’t be a Wix-like VR platform either, eventually!

Anyway, the futurist in me is optimistic that we newbies will have plenty of opportunities for dev jobs for years to come :slight_smile:

I’m in the same boat. I find this site to be useful, since it goes into detail and makes you do multiple exercises for each subject/concept.

1 Like