Practical Javascript

Hey all,

I’m starting my journey in coding and I’m going through Javascript with both FCC and other resources to learn the language. The issue I’m seeing is practical use of the language. A lot of the things I’m watching/reading/doing is the theory behind the language. Which is great because I need to know what things are and how they look and work.

The issue is, when I go to build something or add something to my website, I blank on how to do it. I’m having a hard time trying to turn that theory into practice. In a simple bootstrap landing page I built I wanted to practice with JS and turn the color of one of my buttons. It’s not hard to do, but I had to look up how to do it and basically copy code. I don’t want to keep doing that obviously.

Does anyone else have this issue? What do I do? I know “Keep coding” would be an obvious answer, but I want to practice what I’m learning. I’m also not up to the intermediate exercises on FCC yet and even with that I’m worried about not being able to take what I’m learning and applying it.


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Start simple and easy - stupidly simple. What is the smallest piece that you can reduce the task down to? Figure out how to do that. What is the next small piece that you can isolate? Step by step.


Trust the process. You aren’t going to know how to do everything, even after years of experience. Don’t worry about the results, they will come. Focus on learning. Google things if you need to. Programmers aren’t super-geniuses that can churn code out like it was as easy as eating pie. We all started knowing nothing–just like you.

If you keep at it, you’ll get better.

FreeCodeCamp is a one of the best places I’ve found to learn code. You can and will learn Javascript if you go through the courses. And every project that you complete is applying your learning. It’s why FreeCodeCamp is so amazing. You actually build things, instead of theorizing.


If you go to w3 schools you can experiment with the code live. You can change things on the left and see how they come out on the right.

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I have to look up things all the time. I copy things all the time. But the more I code, the less I need to. All professional coders have to look things up. All cut and paste from time to time. There’s too much stuff to learn in too many languages and it keeps changing. There’s nothing wrong with it as long as you understand it and keep learning.

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I had similar issue. For me it resolved when I started to heavily use jQuery in FCC projects so the knowledge of JS comes in handy from time to time: for loop here, if there and function to spice up your code a bit :wink: I plan to sail into depths of JS in the future but for now jQuery is sufficient.

Copying or looking up code is not a problem. As long as you understand why the code you find is correct. There’s way too much to ever memorize simply by exposure. It’ll take hours upon hours of repetition. Besides, no one ever lost a job for looking up help and delivering quality code.

Try to not bog yourself down with trying to learn javascript specific methods. Instead, focus on learning to program. What I mean is, how to solve problems using code. The syntax will be different between languages, but looping is looping, if you catch my drift. This will be extremely beneficial with larger frameworks than jQuery (like React & Angular), because they rely more on an understanding of programming concepts than an understanding of UI scripting.

For example, if you forget how to change the color of a button, that’s no big deal. Now were you to continue struggling with the logic of changing all the “red buttons to blue” (by looping over the DOM), then that should raise flags on where you need to focus. But if you at the very least know what to search for, then you know it’s more a lack of repetition with the syntax than a lack of knowledge.