I have to say, working through the materials in the front end, (as has been noted) there where a lot of seeming “holes”. Now that I’ve finished the front half certificate, I started hand coding a web site for a friend of mine. That really helped see how things fit together.
For instance, I was stuck with the navbar at the top of each page. Did I really want to hard code it into each HTML file. Then if dawned on me: Hey, what if I had JS do it? I could have and empty navbar element at the top of every page and have JS insert the buttons so I would only have to change them in one place. But don’t I want the button for the current page darkened and inactive? Oh, right, JS can check if the name of the current html page is the same as the target of the anchor and inactivate that button.
Really, a lot of the basic skills I learned in the FE course didn’t seem to be connected, but actually doing a page really helped. I was having trouble finding a pic carousel that I could implement. Then I realized it would be easier to just right one myself. And it was. I had all the tools, I just needed to figure out how to put them together.
Codepen is great for working on things and testing ideas and algorithms, but it wasn’t until; I started doing it “for real” that it started to gel.
So all you campers struggling and worrying that you can’t see the big picture, just keep at it.
Just my $.02.