Trouble Remembering what I'm learning

Hey all,

Im still new at this programming thing and I’m working my way through the fcc curriculum. When I go through the tutorials I find that I understand them quite well but when I start a project my mind has trouble applying what I’ve learned in the tutorials. Mostly because it seems that I forget some of the things I learned. That has led me to search out other sites to supplement my knowledge and burn the previous learned stuff into my mind. Now i find myself tutorial hopping hoping that it’ll sink in. I’ve recently read that the best way to really learn is to build projects as tutorials just guide you on what to do and its not the same as you having to figure it out on your own. Just curious as to others thoughts on this. Is it best just to jump in and learn by building?

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This is a common concern, and it leads me to wonder… when you were like three, and you started learning to read, did simply knowing the letter sounds mean you were reading words like ‘accessibility’ or ‘pterodactyl’?

For most of us, the answer would be ‘no’. We knew the shapes and sounds of letters, but we hadn’t learned to connect them with the words we were hearing or eventually reading. That took time, and practice.

Coding is exactly that. You’re learning a new alphabet, you’re learning the individual concepts that make up a language that allows you to talk to… an inanimate object. Since you are the intelligent one, its on you to learn that language.

To start, you learn basic grammar and syntax, but to form complex sentences takes time, and practice, and study, and time. :wink:

Also, I can only speak from personal experience, but I spend almost as much time researching as I do coding. I’ve been at this more than thirty years, and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is what you know doesn’t count anywhere near as much as knowing how to research what you don’t remember.


Hi @djbrown,

I agree with @snowmonkey, but there is also a course about learning and memorising what you’ve learned that might help you.


and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is what you know doesn’t count anywhere near as much as knowing how to research what you don’t remember.

Thanks for the reply! Its reassuring that it’s not necessary to remember everything. Im pretty good at googling and researching things so at least I have that!

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Thank you for the resource! I’ll check it out.

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I like to create a personal reference databases. The syntax is what gets me the most so I’ll stick examples of “How to declare an array” or “Memory Allocation”. Usually seeing sample code sparks my novice memory.

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Hey @djbrown! I can totally relate. My solution to it is very similar to @SecretMoves. I take notes.
I use Joplin to take notes, lightweight, simple open source and has cloud sync. Use any method that works. (paper is probably the best but slowest). Rereading, sumarizing and writing down stuff really helps with remembering… and also, you have it for future reference.
Finally, the curriculum at FCC is vast, so its normal for a person not to know all of it by heart without years of experience applying it. Give yourself time! You’re building a castle, not setting up a tent.
Best of luck! keep us posted!

Thank you @SecretMoves and @martinflory for your suggestions. I try to take good notes but probably dont have the best system of organizing and keeping track of them. I will look into Joplin.