Struggling with coding , is it normal?

Hello guys , since i am in the Basic Algorithm Scripting challenges , i am struggling with every single challenge and i feel like i am stupid to the point i can’t learn anything while everyone else around is coding so easy ? do u have same kind of thoughts? is it normal to struggle and looking for the solution to understand how to solve it? please help


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Yes! We all struggle, in fact not struggling is the exception to the rule. Here’s a quote I found on reddit once, sums it up nicely:

“You’re always gonna suck at this. It’s really, really hard. You just suck a little less each day and you’ll keep making more money while still feeling like you don’t know enough.”

I’ve been programming a few years and I still struggle, I doubt myself often. You will always find others who are more competent, but remember these more experienced people will have felt the same way you do. Programming is hard. Those who do it for a living are those who just stuck it out. It takes a long time. It takes stubbornness. It takes months and years to get decent at it. It takes longer to get good at it.

Keep going. You got this.


Hi Elsayegh.
Yes, I completed the Front-End Certification (before the new curriculum rolled out), and the algorithm challenges, from the Basic to the Advanced ones, really shattered my ego and spread tons of doubts about keeping on learning Web Dev.
I want to reassure you that most aspire devs go through the same struggle, it’s easy for only very few people.

What I did was work on each challenge for 1/2h or so trying to figure it out. I study before going to bed, so if I can’t solve it I just sleep on it, let it simmer the next day while I’m at work, and look at it again the following evening. If I still can’t solve it but think I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time on it, I’ll seek out some help. I used Stephen Mayeux’s videos on Youtube, who covers the algorithm challenges pretty well, to help me.
At first I felt I was cheating and wouldn’t make progress, but my time was limited and I couldn’t spend days on each one.
Then after a few of them I noticed that I was getting a lot out of that help, and could come much closer to the solutions on the next challenges.

Anyways, my main points are: Yes, it’s absolutely normal to struggle, and if you pay very good attention to the solution and don’t quickly copy/paste code and move on, you’ll still learn a lot and make progress.

If you’ve made it all the way to the algorithm section already, you’re off to an excellent start!


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@usaspiff @collinstommy
Thanks a lot to both of you, appreciate your help! i was really doubting my self although i am still a computer science student 2nd year! will keep trying, trust the process and will see

Thanks again

You might like reading this thread:

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You’re not stupid. Some of those “basic” algorithms are really freakin hard! I struggled with a lot of them, the intermediate ones too.

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The javascript challenges are difficult sometimes. I went through the codecademy tutorials on javascript and then hit the FCC ones. They do a bit more hand holding to get you started.

javascript is hard. react/redux is hard. d3 is hard. node is hard. It is all hard until you can wrap your head around it. There will come a point when it just clicks though, and all of those struggles pay off.


even when u struggle with every single challenge? shall i keep going? it’s not only with javascript but with any programming task using any other programming language! you know how is it when it comes to solving a problem

Whether you should keep going or not is up to you. Do you dislike doing it? If you’re just worried that the difficulty level means that you’re not “good enough” at programming, then don’t worry. If you hate it, then stop.

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I do love it, i enjoy it even though with the struggles

Hi, coding can be hard at first. I know some programmers that have spent 25 programing OPP and Python. They found it hard to learn HTML and CSS, frame works. You might be thinking how is it that possible? But the answer is simple.

The key to learning is to stick with the problem. Try many ways to find the answer. One person doesn’t know the answer If you asked 100 people the same question you are more likely to get different answers.

That is why that I have set up a slack group some we can all learn to code and fix each other’s coding problems.

Thank you

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If you enjoy it, don’t worry. Like I said, if you are having trouble with FCC challenges, go to another site like codecademy and go through their courses. When you come back to the FCC challenges you might understand a bit better.

It also helps to build a project with what you are learning… when you put javascript to use in a project, you get a feel for how it works. I struggled a lot through all of the React/Redux challenges, and the only time any of it clicked was when I actually did a project with it.


Thank you , appreciate that

If you need to look at the solution of every single challenge, then I think you need to relearn some concepts. Go back and make sure you truly understand arrays, functions, loops, etc, don’t try to rush thinking that once you complete the JS curriculum you will know JS. I made that mistake myself with a JavaScript course I took on udemy and it didn’t work. I had to relearn everything again through the FFC JS curriculum, this time I made sure I understood every concept, and it was worthy.

I remember one day I took a look at the the algorithm section and I had no idea how to start writing my solution. But after I relearned everything, things started to make more sense, and now I’m being able to solve most of the algorithms (there were a few I couldn’t solve myself) as I go through the lesson.

As mentioned above, I would also advice to go ahead and try to build something simple like a todo app so you can get a feel of how JavaScript works. After I finished the course I mentioned on udemy I built a few projects, and I struggled a lot, because I didn’t know JavaScript and I thought I did. However that struggle was necessary, because after all that struggle things (arrays, functions…) finally started to make sense, then I decided to relearn everything here on FFC.


I restarted the course because the updated curriculum looked so awesome, but when I was in the previous version I got to build the random quote machine.
What I usually do when a challenge feels difficult is that I work with notes. It is usually kind of slow, but it appears to work. Let me break down tho process.
First, I take notes on every new concept or piece of code I learn. That way I can review the concepts I don’t remember too well.

When I get to a challenge that feels simple, I type a comment for each step I think necessary for the challenge, typing in new comments as I need them or when they pop into my head so I can work on that later. Then I focus on each individual step until it passes a simple test, like a console.log() or an alert(). As each step works I move the alert() lower down in the script.
Now, if I get really stuck, I simply stop coding for a couple of hours and do something else. Sometimes I try to think about different solutions or try to break down the problem even more on paper using human language. If all of this fails, I just take a break and start creating a new script the next day.
Finally, if i did get to solve the challenge, sometimes I like to try improving some of the functions, or slightly modifying the solution.
I hope this helps.

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