Stuck and demoralised

Hi, I’ve been learning html and css for a few days, my goal is to be able to create a pretty decent website by November, and start a full-stack boot camp next year.

Today, I’m completely disheartened with my progress, since I’ve discovered bootstrap I’ve become stuck. I’m working on the ‘Personal portfolio page project’ and what I want to do requires mostly bootstrap. Which I don’t have much knowledge on. Yet, with perseverance, my components started to look the way I wanted, but now I’ve started from scratch on bootstrap 4.

Truth be told my problems started before I deleted my code. I wasn’t sure what I was doing with bootstrap 3. I was looking at examples, copy and pasting snit bits of code, playing around with it, seeing what it does and what I could create.

My conclusion is I have an erratic personal learning-map that has no real direction. I don’t know what to focus on at this point. Its a big ask, but I’d really appreciate it if some fellow coders who have gone through the same journey might be able to give me some direction and pointers.

It takes more than a few days to really understand HTML and CSS, let alone a library like Bootstrap.


The thing that jumps out at me is a lack of definition in your goals. What is “pretty decent”? What does that mean?

To be fair, it’s hard to set realistic goals at the stage you’re at (at least it was for me). But making your goals concrete and realistic will go a long way to helping you focus and stay motivated.

You’re not going to “learn html and css” (another vague goal that could mean anything) in a few days. Not going to happen. It took six months for me to finish my front end cert, and I’m still learning new things a year later.

Make your goals concrete (or SMART if you’ve sat through enough manager training classes in previous career):

  • This week I’m going to learn how to build a user login form.
  • Today I’m going to learn how to make font colors change when the mouse hovers over the text with a smooth transition.
  • This month I’m going to learn how to use bootstrap column classes to build a responsive grid of photos (12 photos wide on desktop, 6 photos wide on tablet, 2 photos wide on mobile)

Notice how these goals look a lot like the freeCodeCamp user stories? There’s a reason user stories are used in the industry. It’s a way of creating specific work goals that define what you’re aiming for without defining how you do it.

Your learning goals should be the same. Keep track of them. It’s really motivating when you can look back at a checklist of all the specific, concrete goals you’ve met over the last week, month, year, etc.


I did specify that I was ‘learning’, as opposed to ‘learnt’. Thoroughly aware that this is a journey, and one of the most appealing aspects of coding is the progressive learning aspect. I love to learn something new each day, know that I’m heading in the right direction to one day becoming proficient coder in whatever language/s I’ll lean towards in the future.

I didn’t wish to hit people with the wall of text effect so was trying to keep things summarized, which rebounded on me in a negative way…

My initial goals are quite concrete - unfortunately my road map to reaching them isn’t.

Still, its food for thought, setting smaller goals based off tasks I want to accomplish. I had created a schedule, now as time goes by I’ll define what it is by the end of ‘that’ day I want to be able to do.

You really have been helpful, thanks!

Also constantly learn HTML / CSS and use them in projects … At least for me, I started using Bootstrap after learning HTML5/CSS3 for 6 months … It is something you will not do in a day or two, so take patience, this is a constant learning process in Web Development :slight_smile:

OP, I think your problem is probably quite common. I certainly felt the same way on the early projects. It seems you have to suddenly have a working knowledge of several topics immediately, so the early projects throw you in at the deep end. The intermediate projects also throw you in at another kind of deep end as well though. You get used to it I suppose. What you learn to do is to decide what areas you need to improve your knowledge in and methodically study those. Don’t try and learn too many things all at once or you’ll end up a bit dizzy.


Read the docs.

Same goes for jQuery and other libraries/frameworks. Many of the commonly-used ones have excellent documentation.

I’d suggest trying other resources… I got stuck around the same area as you, then moved to codecademy up until their JS material, then I read on here someone suggesting Jonas Schmedtmann’s Real World HTML course on udemy. I’ve learned the most from the course, so I picked up more courses and it’s going well… After I’m done with this course I’m taking now I’ll be coming back to make a portfolio website showing off some of what I’ve done.

This has all been within about a months time… I had no idea what to do before seeking more information from other sources. With what I’ve learned so far, I am confident I can make a clean & responsive portfolio.

Good Luck & Keep Coding