Newbie Blues: How do I practice?!?

I’m not only pretty new to the program, but also brand new to coding all together! I was wondering, for those of you who may have started out just as I am not, how do you retain what you’re learning? I’ve gotten very good at “following directions” and figuring what needs to be fixed to move on to the next lesson, but I’m very skeptical that I’ll actually be able to do this on my own without the hand holding.

What did you do to make it stick!?

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I started this in the same position as you and I feel similar when I’m trying to learn something. Quite often I feel like its going in one ear and out the other.

What I found was that when it came to the projects in this curriculum I found I had retained more than I thought. Actually doing it in context, rather than following directions to change obscure snippets of code, cements what you think you haven’t learned - at least that’s how I think it works with me.


I’m still in the front end working through HTML and CSS…I’m only on lesson 80 but I’ve definitely done enough where I know if I don’t reinforce it somehow I may lose it!

And that’s refreshing that you realized you learned more than you thought MarkJ78. I hope the same holds true for me as I’m feeling pretty cool given what I’ve done so far…even if it’s just following directions for now lol.

Once you get into the projects, you start applying what you’ve seen and it starts to stick.

Don’t worry about remembering exact code examples yet - the early curriculum is just there to show you what kind of things you can do with HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Once you dig into the projects, you’ll come back to what you’ve been learning to review it and apply it for real.


As well as the excellent advice from all above, the most important thing is persistence! You’ve probably heard it before but it really is vital to retaining information and making progress as a developer.

Keep at it :slight_smile:

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Here is a medium article that I wrote a few months back, you might find it informative.


I tend to review the already made challenges, you can just reset them and repeat them endlessly so in the end you’ll get the hang of it. Besides that, there are really nice tutorials on the internet on how to do stuff and how it works. If you put your practice in FCC together with research and help from the chat, you’ll get there in no time.

greets, lawfets


A very powerful concept from language learning (Natural languages that is ) is spaced-repetition, In short spaced-repetition means repeat something at a point in time when you are just about to forget it.You will strengthen the memory of the concept if you force yourself to recall from memory.

In FCC I start almost every study day by opening the map and go back and do a least one older exercise for each major category such as HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, jQuery and JavaScript. You ca reset the exercise and check it once again when done.

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I’m in the same boat as you. I’m at number 71, which I’ve gotten to in the past 3 days in my spare time. I’m also not sure how it will “stick,” but I believe I am my only limitation. Just do something each day, and you will build upon it. That is my goal, anyway—discipline. Practice makes progress.

I like these quotes:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work.” - Thomas A. Edison
"It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein

I once worked for a dad (as a nanny, which is my job now, but I’m now with a different family), who wrote a movie that got out in theaters, wrote books for doctors, and had his own practice, and managed to spend time with his family—I couldn’t fathom how he did it all. He once told me, “It’s not about how smart you are, it’s about how you utilize your energy.”

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That’s a good point about it not being about being smart but rather about using your energy. In coding frustrations just seem inevitable to me… It is by tenacity, calm and imagination to rethink problems I get trough those problems.Not by just simply being smart.

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Thanks for the practice resource links…I’m stuck on JavaScript…I need to do do do…Or as other might say, practice practic practice…So thankful for this forum…I won’t give up or in…I’m totally loving this stuff…It is folks like you Ptxt that make it worthwhile…I tell you I’ve never been in such a giving community. Good Lord I wish I had the confidence to make a career out of this years ago…No matter, I’m doing it now…Don’t stop coding freeCodeCampers…You are the bestest!

just keep on grinding, that’s the way. Good luck.