Theory behind coding projects

I’m in the middle of learning with HTML/CSS and so far the experience is great. Though, I’m starting to feel like I’m just typing code.

I do look up on Google every time I encounter a new term with project each step and read more about it. I also try out the code in VS Code editor but I still feel like I don’t have an understanding of ‘why’ I’m doing ‘what’ I’m doing.

For e.g. the CSS property padding-inline-start. I can find the explanation on Google but I also have questions like why am I using it? When and where do I use or not use it in other projects etc. This is how it is with each step I complete in projects.

I feel like there are conceptual gaps in my knowledge. Do you feel the same? How did you overcome the conceptual understanding of project steps?


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yeah, same here.
It gets better the more independent projects you work on.
Like, go to codepen’s website, get an account and create something.
Look online at something you admire and force yourself to try and copy it exactly.
(I recently had to copy Google’s search page for a project and it taught me a lot, these guys put a lot of effort into the tiniest of details)

So more practice will allow you to ask and re-ask the same questions which will lead to a deeper understanding of the topics. It’s an ongoing process for me too (if you’re not doing it consistently then it is easy to learn and unlearn)


Thanks for this answer. It’s quite helpful to me because most times I find myself in the same shoes with @jashnotes.


I haven’t heard of codepen. I’ll be sure to check it out. I do revise the completed projects from FCC but wasn’t sure of doing independent projects this early. I’ll give it a try. Thanks @hbar1st this definitely helps.

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Totally. The projects would be just to copy statically what you see (so just some html and css). And the idea would be to quickly hit limits in understanding and ability. Forcing you to look for ways to do unexpected things (and making you understand why then they are needed or useful).

That gap you are feeling is the “putting it together” part.

Usually building things from scratch from your pre-existing knowledge is where you end up learning the most. The earlier parts of the curriculum are more there to “show you what’s available”, but aren’t exactly where you “put them to the test”. Yes the curriculum asks for it then and there but it’s easy to kind of gloss over the understanding part.

It’s only once you’re given a blank canvas so to speak, do you have to learn how to use the tools you went over before.

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