New to FCC, feeling lost already

I have a little experience with HTML and CSS already, but haven’t worked with them in awhile and it was always for school projects. I’m finding it difficult to get used to the way FCC tends to toss you into CSS along with HTML at the same time. Other coding websites tend to teach HTML first, then CSS. I know it’s just a matter of getting used to the system and how they teach, but did anyone else feel totally confused and overwhelmed by this when they first began this course?

A little background: I’m a former graphic designer who got her degree in design, but then became disabled and couldn’t do much with it (without web design knowledge, it’s been impossible getting freelance work I can do from home). I’m now trying to learn coding so I can, hopefully, have some kind of income to supplement my husband’s. Life has been difficult financially, but even a few hundred bucks a month would help a lot. Am I deluding myself that this is possible or is working from home an actual possibility in this field?


Hi NerdFaerie! Welcome to the community! I have been working here for a week or two now. I came here after completing a front-end dev bootcamp course so I already had some background knowledge. My experiences in the bootcamp and here were along the lines of your message. Things sort of got jumbled together and thrown at you. The thing that has helped me deal with that is breaking things down into the smallest pieces I can. So, if I ran into an exercise that was asking me to use bootstrap to style an element that I wasn’t already familiar with I’d pause… look up the element (the w3 schools is an awesome place to go for deepening your understanding of html, css, bootstrap, and javascript to name a few) and try to play with it some in a code editor like codepen or the live editors on w3 schools. Once I felt like I had a better understanding, I’d play with the bootstrap/css, js or whatnot. Hope that helps. Hang in there, it’s super hard at first but it does get easier after a while.

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@NerdFaerie you are NOT alone! Please don’t get discouraged! We all started from somewhere, and I can definitely relate. I am a creative at heart, write songs, sing, but in my real life, I do administrative work. Last year, after years of feeling like there HAD to be more meaningful, intellectually stimulating work that I could do. So, I took a few coding classes and got HOOKED! It is hard at first, but there are so many resources out there. For FCC, I really like the coding 360 tutorials on YouTube. Those are really helping me. Also, check out meetups in your area, both online and in person. The main thing is to set aside time everyday to learn a new concept and practice it until you can comfortably explain it to someone else. Feel free to reach out to me if I can be of more help:

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It was actually more difficult for me to grasp CSS after reading a few HTML only tutorials. Learning both allow you to see the interaction and you can see the changes you make affect the output. The overall best place I have found to cover HTML and CSS together in a logical fashion is the Shay Howe basic HTML/CSS tutorial at
I seriously wish this guy would make a new tutorial covering JavaScript the same way. Everything in the tutorial is vanilla, no frameworks or anything. Once you get through the CSS sections, you can begin to appreciate frameworks like Bootstrap because you will understand the concept of a grid much better after having coded your own in the tutorial. (Obviously a much simpler grid, but the concepts taught make a world of difference in understanding) Hands down the best free resource I have found since joining FCC.

If you take it slow and steady you should be more than fine, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed though, but just understand that everyone is in the same position as you. It takes time and patience (and google!), if you ever get stuck just search! there are heaps of resources out there.

On a side note, if you are a graphic designer you might want to check out the website it might be a quick way of supplementing your family income and they do seem to have graphic designer section.

good luck!


I’ll be honest bud, this is my third account, or attempt at this website. I was just like you about a year or so ago when I first found this website. I had a little background in Java (from a college course) but the only HTML/CSS I had been exposed to was back when MySpace was cool. Honestly I’ve had to use other resources to get myself “together”, one thing I would recommend is the NetNinja on YouTube, his videos are very through and he explains things very well. Another possible idea would be try do CS50 on edX. Either way if this is something that you want to do, you have to find a way around this roadblock. Good luck with everything and if you need anything just send me a PM on here.


I do all my freelance work from home. Coincidentally I’m a coder with very little skill in graphic design so I’m dependent on designers to give me something to build. I’ve always considered someone who can design and code really well like a unicorn haha.

The question to ask yourself is “Where am I going to get clients/projects?” and there’s a few ways to answer that:

1.) You could go on a freelance bidding site (like Elance for example) and throw your hat into the ring with others. I’ll warn you it’s dog eat dog in there, but you have the chance of getting a few gigs if you present yourself right.

2.) You can hit up local businesses and non-profits that either don’t have sites or the ones they do have could use an update, do a couple of pro-bono jobs to build your portfolio with and garner some networking. One of the chief ways to build future business is word of mouth. Alot of my clients have come from friends who knew that I made websites and were nice enough to pass my name along. And clients that enjoyed working with you will come back with new projects and/or spread your name as well.

3.) You can try and get yourself in with a start-up company. One that’s looking for junior level programmers/designers to work with. You can then seek out clients as a team, which is a lot easier then trying to do it on your own.

4.) In the same vein as option 3, you could try starting up your own company and seek out new coders and designers looking for jobs just like you. This is a very demanding and time consuming option obviously, you’re going to be wearing a lot of hats here depending on how much control you want. You’re definitely going to have to handle finding regular employees or freelancers to hire on an as-need basis, and then there’s making sure everyone gets paid (including yourself). Since you would be starting out, there’s also marketing your company, finding clients, networking, finding the right people for a task (IE: maybe you need someone really good with let’s say JS to build some scripts for you).

Again it’s a huge undertaking but it has the potential of becoming something really fun and fulfilling if you can gather the right people around you.

I didn’t feel confused myself when I started here, but that’s only because I’m coming from a long background with HTML/CSS. BUT…I can tell you what it was like when I was first starting out back in the day. Back then even HTML read like Greek to me. It took a lot of practice and mucking up and then doing it again till I understood the concepts. And that goes double with CSS, because now we’re not just making things display on a webpage, we’re making them appear different. Not to mention there could be several ways to do something via CSS, and there you start getting into best practices and time and difficulty. And that can certainly get overwhelming. I still get overwhelmed sometimes.

Another question to ask yourself is “What do I enjoy doing?” and if the answer to that is making graphics and site layouts and UIs then focus on learning web design. If you’re enjoying coding then focus on that. If you enjoy both, then become a unicorn my friend. No one says you can’t do it all.

BUT, you have to be honest with yourself…if one area starts to lack while the other shines, then maybe that should be the path you follow instead. Like maybe you end up rocking at coding but your web design skills are meh, or you can put together a gorgeous layout in Photoshop, but when it comes to building it, you struggle…that’s the point where you have to stop and maybe drop one or the other and really pour your skill building into the area you’re stronger at.

Check out YouTube, there’s a million tutorials, find a channel that you dig the teaching style of and follow the videos. Read books on subjects you want to learn deeper, I’ve got quite a few web design and coding books from amazon on my bookshelves. Check out sites like and and don’t be afraid to ask questions here at FCC and on sites like

You can do it.


It’s normal to feel lost in the beginning, so just keep going! Just wanted to say that I think FCC isn’t based on teaching, but gives you a path, community and tools to learn it yourself. You have to get your info from other sources as well like Stackoverflow, google tutorials, books, chatroom etc, because thats how it works in real life and is the only way to master the skill set. Always when I got stuck or lost in a topic, I went back to the basics, study that and then come back to the challenges. Good luck with your coding journey!

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If you didn’t know before there is an awesome guide @P1xt made for those who wants to be job ready in a short time
notice that if you are a totally beginner you should start with CS50 before reading YDKJS


Wow! Thanks for the welcome and encouragement, guys. I’ll keep plugging along and supplementing my FCC education with other sources. I also have access to Lynda classes through my library, so that may help as well. So many resources out there and I find that the more I use, the better I retain information. I think one of my biggest issues is that I always expect myself to memorize everything and not rely on Googling stuff. That’s something I’m going to have to work on. My husband is a programmer for a game company with 10 years of experience and even he has to look stuff up sometimes.