Starting to Think FreeCodeCamp Doesn't Actually Teach

keep it up bud, you will get it. :slight_smile: all the hard work, researching and dedication makes the reward better :slight_smile:


I don’t think that you should use free code camp as your sole teaching method…you learn by researching on your own as well and you will have to do that using free code camp.


this is very true. I agree 100%

I feel like FCC is more difficult than CS50x especially for newbies like me. I think FCC is for those experienced programmers who would like to venture into web development. That’s just my opinion.

1 Like

To be clear, I do think FCC is the best self-teaching source I’ve seen for coding. I like how it focuses on teaching the job in a practical manner instead of a single language and actively helps users put together a portfolio as well as networking opportunities. It feels like the system was built with the idea of ascertaining an actual job in programming in mind. I look forward to seeing FCC expand with more modules.

As I said before, this post was more a ventilation of frustration than anything else. I actually solved a couple of the challenges without having to look anything up shortly after posting it, but I also think it helps people to know they’re not the only ones who struggle or get frustrated from time to time.


You kinda aren’t supposed to solve challenges immediately just coding on the fly. It’s advised to search and ask questions if you don’t understand something. And it really makes FCC an excellent teaching resource. Read suggested mdn articles, then google, ask questions. Read books (You dont know JS is a good choice), do courses at codecademy or elsewhere, watch some youtube tutorials. You shouldn’t limit yourself only to information, explained at FCC (and yeah, it’s explained pretty briefly, you’ll need more theory to move on).


You are totally not alone! I still feel this way sometimes, but I also agree 100% that it’s the best out there. I think a lot of people (myself included) who find out coding is really rad, but have no background in it need more than just FCC. I did some research and read on FCC, reddit, etc. and ended up making what (I think?) is a more well rounded teaching to supplement that meets my needs as a newbie. I’m drawing on recommendations from FCC writers, edEx courses, Codecademy, Odin, books, etc., but I’d sit down, figure out what you need to improve your skills and then make a plan.
(link to my plan that I posted on reddit and the feedback that I received:


Even the 1% of web developer / software engineers spend many hours googling / reading documentation / stack overflow in order to solve a problem They don’t have all the answers in their head for every problem they come across. Programming, to me, is first and foremost about “understanding” the problem. These algorithms are meant to make you feel uncomfortable. They are a wall. You must find your own ladder. I think of FCC as more of a resource to help you get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Anyways, you’re not alone :slight_smile: Keep at it!


You cannot expect to understand how and why things work from FCC, i don’t think it’s their intention at all. You are expected to study outside of what FCC offers if you want to learn these things in more depth.

FCC is a great source of challenge, a way to practice your knowledge, but it’s not an ideal way to obtain this knowledge in the first place. You can learn javascript syntax on FCC, but you cannot learn the javascript language on FCC, it’s just out of their scope.

The idea that “even the best programmers google” is valid, but not in the sense that i often see used in here and in other beginner-friendly communities. Of course you should google if you don’t know something, but if you don’t know how the tools you are using work, you can’t really expect to be very productive. That’s something no college, course or book can teach you by itself, you have to actively pursue understanding of what you don’t understand. Not only for programming but any skill in life requires that.


Not related entirely to coding… but my whole lie has been like this… I started my life in electronics, and was always figuring out what a chip or component could do by what they used to call cookbooks… or the companies own spec sheet…

But this is the nature of being in any field. My friend is a Doctor and the number of times she says she goes to her reference docs to look at possible symptom/diagnosis/outcome type stuff amazed me… It seemed like House… except instead of doing the whiteboard of possible diseases for symptoms, it’s confirmed via a bit of research…

Of course if you have a Phd in something you might just be the only expert in that obscure Phylum-Genus of rainforest insect. Or if you create a technology and work in it exclusively your whole life… But that’s not likely the future working state of the majority of people. You have to be a bit of generalist who is a quick learn and knows how to figure stuff out or research it nowadays.

1 Like

Completely unrelated to coding, but more conceptual to the idea of learning itself…

And to my time as a trainer… there’s learning models that include long plateaus and frustration before breakthroughs to the next level… see the unconscious competence diagram about halfway down the page at

Mastery comes with practice and frustration can drive someone to the next level. the id gives a good 10,000 foot view of staying in the ‘zone’.

What Should You Learn Next? – The Challenge Graph, a framework for understanding growth

1 Like

This is true. I have had two senior developers tell me the same thing. If someone tells you that they never have to reference back to anything when coding and working commands on a server , they either are not doing much at all or they are lieing.

I’m trying to start Back-End and feel utterly lost, actually panicking. But then I remind myself I’m not the first one doing it and try to suck it up. I’ve got a feeling it will be a lot harder than Front-End though.


If its the algorithms that you are having problems with try this:
Write the problem out, in English, step by step, on paper first, and organize your thoughts. Implement your code step by step and check it one step at a time. Sometimes we write code and think its doing something when it is actually doing something else. Check it, how ? Print out the step your are trying to achieve with ‘console.log(“stuff”)’ which obviously shows up in your console which is usually accessed by hitting f12. For example, you receive some array and you need to pick out some element. I would print out the array to see if I’m receiving it. Then print out the element I’m supposed to be choosing. If its correct, I move on to the next step if not, I check for missing columns, semi-columns, misspelled words, capitalization ect. if is correct maybe there might be a misinterpretation on how something works. Go to the Map and ctrl+f whatever it is you are working on. Re-read and rework out the function or whatever it is that is not working then retry the algorithm.
I’m a math and cs major and have done lots of these challenges on c++, some of the challenges are still hard for me, It is supposed to be hard i think. So don’t feel bad and keep at it.

Best of Luck Sir.


Back end is what I plan to transition into. I’m sure technically it’ll be more difficult but that’d be preferable over constantly facing my design ineptitude >.<

1 Like

Hey man its all good. Its ok to feel lost in despair. That’s the thing about doing something really hard. It’s going to be difficult and you’re going to need help. I felt this way about a month ago and man its hard to shoot for a goal when you’re shooting in the dark.

The thing that has helped me and maybe will help you is watch youtube videos on how they came to that solution or look up some code. After that write it down on a piece of paper (pretty old school i know) and rewrite that solution over and over again

Do THIS every single day and your mind will eventually come to understand what is going on when you use certain methods and function etc.

The thing about these problems is that we were never exposed to them so if you were never exposed to it how can you possibly figure it out right? Well the only way is to watch a couple tutorials, read, and practice. Once you’re completely balanced and confident you can do it on your own! Thats the beauty of learning new things.

Lastly being a programmer is HARD if it was easy then everyone would be programming :smile: It takes a certain person to push themselves and i know you’ll be able to do this. Good Luck M8!


Interesting. I find some of the psets in CS50 to be much, much more difficult. Like Server.c… Wow.

It’s really just a matter of 1. the passage of time and 2. doing it every day.

I only now sometimes feel like I’m starting to get it, and I started FCC in July. [Currently going through a process of polishing, fixing and, in some cases, redoing, before I apply for Front End certification.]

I’ve not yet done CS50 (totally on my bucket list for the year, though), but I believe FCC is designed to take a total beginner from ground zero to floor zero of the building you just got your job in. :wink: Actually, I tend to think that an experienced programmer would probably be a bit bored by FCC, as the projects can be a bit basic and pointless (except as the learning exercises they’re meant to be), and the algorithms can be simple as well for someone more experienced. That’s ok! As a lot of people said, FCC’s main goal I think is to make you research, think, struggle through the answers. And each answer builds in complexity. Each problem will make you stronger, but the struggle is real. There’s no easy way to learn to code; only you can learn the materials you need, no one else can learn them for you, but at least FCC provides a map and exercises to help you through. Read, Search, Ask. And don’t be afraid to use other learning resources when needed.

1 Like


CS50 is difficult but they provide learners the lessons by providing even the very very basics of programming logic. It’s like training wheels when learning to ride a bike. Don’t get me wrong, I love FCC but it seems that the lessons look like a review if you had prior programming knowledge. Just like the AJAX part. Sorry for my English. I hope you get what I meant.