Not smart enough to be a programmer

I can’t visualize anything.
I can’t solve problems.
I am slow at math.
I feel sometimes programming is not for me.
How can I increase my IQ?
I learn slow.
I am very slow at understanding what others say(sometimes, not that serious of an issue)


Hi @gururajankappa !

Lots of people struggle to visualize their ideas and turn them into actual projects. So this is completely normal.

Try and break up the problem into smaller pieces. Also, try not to jump into coding right away. Try writing out pseudocode first.

Me too :grinning:
If you want to brush up on your math you can watch some of the math courses on fcc’s youtube channel. Linear Algebra

It is called imposter syndrome.

I don’t know how you can raise the actual IQ number but continuing to learn complex subjects like programming will make you smarter.

Me too! :grinning:
Learning how to program is not a sprint. It is a marathon.
Just take your time.

That’s ok. People on the forum are pretty patient.
I think a lot of people feel that same way you do.

In conclusion, try not to tackle to many things at once.
Start with small manageable goals and have small wins along the way.


Thanks a lot for the motivating words.
I’m feeling all charged up, after knowing that feeling this way is OK.


Think of gaining skill like solving a level in Tetris. There is no skipping levels. Any skipping just immediately comes back to mess you and creates exponential problems.

If you lack understanding in one level, say you understand 95% in that level. On the next level, you are then given a new set of information. Well, your brain, in attempting to understand the new information, takes that last 5% of non-understanding from the last level, because it knows you don’t know, and starts to “mix” that incomplete understanding with your current lack of understanding. It compounds from there. If you understand say 80% of a concept and then move on, you are incurring a “mental deficit” that only grows until you go back, and “solve the tetris level” to completely stack it away.

So what you want to do is stay on any concept until you understand it completely before moving on. It doesn’t mean you can’t move on to something else parallel in your same level of learning, but don’t progress to the next hard thing. It will just come back to bite you, every time.

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Hi @dbonneville !

Thank you for the advice!
And I think it will help @gururajankappa as well!

Happy coding!

When learning Programming learn with little challenges (Projects) on every level you are. It helps you know better what you can solve with the little knowledge gained. Don’t just learn the entire pack and start looking for a huge project to start with. Learn a bit with a project for the bit you have learned.

HI @Creativemike !

Welcome to the forum!

Thank you for your reply!

I am going to tag @gururajankappa so they get the notification for your reply.

For some reason, I am getting email notifications about the replies even though this isn’t my post. :grinning:

Happy coding!

So many great replies above, however I wanted to add a few thoughts and a bit of advice.

First of everyone has weaknesses and strengths. These don’t limit us unless we give them that power. I have seizures, ptsd, dyslexia, two kids who I have to homeschool due to school closers. I have no income. I feel like there is nothing worth a damn about me. I am depressed and have fallen into a state of learned helplessness. yet I am learning I am 3 challenges short of finishing basics on html. This free course is amazing

My tip is to focus on on problem or one challenge at a time. Google the terms so you get more than one perspective on it. watch video’s on the topic you are learning and look up other free practice recourses. lastly come to the community when you need help. These people are amazing.

Today I spend 30mintutes trying to get a simple checkbox challenge to pass I googled, I even compared it to next lesson to see if I could find the problem I did this over and over finally I brought to the community and when I copied and pasted my code I saw the little red line telling me I had a spelling error. I started to doubt myself. but I passed each test after that. I passed that test. I learned much needed skills doing all that googling. I will make the same mistake if I had to bet on it.

I have to accept that I am going to take this at my own pace that is the beauty of being self taught and it not being a paid course. You can do the lessons over and over again too. Also take notes and do what ever you need to learn. Maybe even google techniques of learning there are so many that might help you. Don’t give up though you can do this even if it take years. and imagine how proud you will be when that day comes.

If you find it hard or stuck on something take a break for an hour or two then get back at it. Believe some problems can be solved by taking a break

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Anyone can program, so you do not need to worry. Almsot all the programmer struggle with learning how to code. So it is with most other programming. If you learn it, it’s not difficult. In fact, I’d say that programming is no more difficult than writing. So, continue your hard work and you will see with time that you are learning it.

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I strongly disagree. Programming is hard. It is ok to admit that programming is hard. Telling a learner that programming is not hard is not true, discounts their struggles, and is exclusionary.

The rest I agree with. Everyone struggles at some point when learning to code but you can do it if you want to put in the hard work and time. Programming IS hard, but you CAN do it.


Awesome analogy! Thanks a lot! You’ve made my day!

Thanks a lot! 20 characters

True words, I get it now.

Thanks I will! 20 characters

Very very relatable!

Thanks a lot! I hope you get well, what you are going through is really sad.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to answer my questions, thanks a lot!

awe you are so welcome but please don’t be sad for me. I will get better and stronger. These things were not shared to say look I am sad but too give you hope. I shared so you know that others too have impossible obstacles but can over come them little by little and so can you! Feel free to message me if you ever feel like giving up. I will remind you why you will achieve your goals.

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I really hope you do.
You are really motivating!

I am a beginner and I often feel that same way. I sometimes think I don’t really belong, sort of that imposter syndrome sneaking its head in. However, I think consistency will be key. Anyone can learn anything with enough time. I have a Google Drive folder set up just for taking notes on these FCC modules. This really helps. I used to write the notes down physically, but it’s much easier to type them out.

Once you have some fundamentals, I keep seeing that the best advice is to build projects. Even simple things work! Just putting into practice the lessons but in different ways. Take your time! You got this.

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