Understanding Javascript less and less -> algorithm scripting

I’ve hit the Javascript wall of struggle. I, like many others, breezed through the HTML/CSS course, and even the beginnings of the Javascript course seemed straightforward. But somewhere along the way, I feel like my brain has just stopped the ability to retain anything and problem solve. I’ve taken notes, watched other video tutorials, I dipped my toe into the CS50 course, and although I feel like i’m familiar with the concepts individually, most if not all of the tutorials (specifically starting the algorithm scripting section) I feel like I’m from another planet and have no idea where to start building code.
I’m not sure if I just need more revision on the concepts by themselves, or if I just need more ‘field practice’ to really learn how to implement all of the concepts into actual code.
Thanks in advance to anyone who might help.


Possibly both… the algorithm scripting section challenges are a bit more difficult by design to test your knowledge and help reveal to you your weak spots. But the good news is you can always go back and review the material if needed.

Maybe you went through the JavaScript sections too fast. If you are totally new to JavaScript, it will take time and practice. It’s a different kind of thinking than HTML (which is a markup language, not a programming language).

Don’t rely totally on the lessons in the FCC curriculum. Read hints, MDN docs, the forums, etc. Multiple resources help. Maybe one resource explains it better than another or makes more sense to your learning style.

Don’t get discouraged. HTML/CSS is more concrete and pretty easy to get the hang of (although it can get messy and even become a nightmare on a large project with mutliple stylesheets, overriding other styles in other places, etc., it can get complex to troubleshoot). JavaScript (or any programming language) can require more abstract thinking.

The syntax will come with practice, and by typing it/looking it up, using it, typing it over and over. Don’t try to remember everything, you will stress yourself out!

Take your time, think about the concepts. Try to understand the concepts. It’s not a race to the finish line. :smiley:


This was most likely my biggest mistake. Thanks for your reply though, it gave me the extra motivation i needed lol. I’ll just keep on practicing :slight_smile:

1 Like

I’ve used JavaScript before but I am still a beginner. And honestly, I realize how rusty I am when I went through some of the challenges. So I made the same mistake, but the good thing about mistakes… we can learn from them and try again!

Don’t expect a new born baby to run a marathon. If it tried to run before it learned to crawl or walk, it might fall, get injured, and then it would take even longer to walk or run. :smiley:

1 Like

Understanding Javascript less and less

Good, that means you’re paying attention. This is going to happen as you move along the Dunning-Krueger curve.

Yes, JS is harder than HTML and CSS. And remember that no one memorizes all of this stuff. As long as you can figure out what to google, you’re probably doing OK.

Also keep in mind that the FCC material is not comprehensive and it tends to breeze over things kind of quickly. This is great when we are “getting it”, because we don’t get don’t get bored. But it can be frustrating if we are “not getting it” and are confused as the curriculum scoots on to the next thing. Don’t be afraid to take a little side trip, look at some youtube videos, etc. - to get a concept down.

I’m not sure if I just need more revision on the concepts by themselves,

Maybe, but don’t worry about memorizing everything. You will forget things - that’s OK, you can look them up.

And cut yourself some slack - this is hard stuff. That’s why it isn’t done by high school drop outs, after a week of study, for minimum wage.


As for not knowing where to start, trying to split task into smaller pieces can help with that. Specifically for algorithms helpful can be imagining how something could be achieved by hand or with pen and paper, step-by-step.

1 Like

Ah, yes. The good old Dunning-Krueger curve… "I know everything there is to know about that, I’ve read the first paragraph of a wikipedia article about it", proclaimed @a_aramini :laughing:

Very good point @kevinSmith

Yeah, humility and success at learning something enough to be proficient seem to go hand in hand, funny how that works.

And programming is a very humbling experience.


People learn at different pace and respond to different teaching styles. There are many tutorial sites out there you can try and find the ones you really like. You can take online classes (free or paid) and work as many exercises as possible. Most of the learning sites have forums and you should utilize them. To learn programming, you need to write code, not just listening to lectures and viewing instructors completedcode.

Good luck with your study. Keep on coding.


let me tell you i’ve been few sections ahead of JS curriculum and still would occasionally get back to topic from JS to refresh my memory, or even revise something i totally forgot
You get introduced to many stuff and get to try each one of them separately, but when you are put in front of a task without a straightforward method to use, you get overwhelmed and thats normal. It takes time and practice to adopt all those methods and start applying them fluidly in your code.

1 Like


I totaly agree.

As an example, I’m almost done with the JS curriculum. I’m on the last section just before the projects. When I got to Seek And Destroy in the Intermediate Algorithm Scripting section, I had to turn off Metallica and really concentrate :smile:

Took me a long time to think it through. I knew what to do and which methods I needed to use, and thought I finally understood it. But I struggled (and failed over many attempts) to put it altogether in the right order to get the required outcome.

Eventually I got through it without peeking at the answer. It took like 2hrs worth of coffee, reading MDN, and serious contemplation.

Back in 2013, I had gone through all of the free curriculum Codecademy had to offer at the time which was very similar. I remember getting through it with less trouble.

At the time I had a job doing Web Site performance testing . We used Javascript Selenium, and Xpath to automate tests simulating thousands of users all hitting a website at once, and then provided a formal executive summary containing feedback to clients about their site’s performance.

It goes to show that after 7yrs of not really touching or doing anything with programming, one can get very rusty and a lot of material can exit your brain quickly.

It’s a long road ahead, and to advance, one has to look at it like constant training. If you exercise and get in shape, you can’t expect that to last if you don’t keep training to maintain it. Otherwise, you’ll quickly get out of shape again. Such as it is with many endeavors in life.

Just saying all that because I think it totally demonstrates the point you made.

And it also proves the point that @kevinSmith made earlier about the Dunning Kruger curve.

When you go into something thinking you know what you’re doing, and then realize how much you don’t know about something or how much you forgot, you are quickly humbled. That is when the opportunity for real learning begins.

Stay thirsty (for learning) my fellow campers, and stick with it. The struggle is real, but the payoff is worth it in the end.


I sometimes spent all day reading up all kinds of reference materials before I was able to solve one challenge, but I find that the time I spent today is often rewarded with the time I don’t have to spend tomorrow.

All in all, it’s hard at the beginning, and it’ll get better and better.


I have a very similar experience, so I can relate, adding that feeling this way is fine.
At some point, I felt that I had rushed through a sizable portion of the JS course - instead of stopping, and trying to process things, I just continued to go fast. And I regretted doing so, of course :slightly_smiling_face: ).
Anyway, a few weeks (and sections) later, I felt that I absolutely had to pause, and go back to the “basic” section. Only this time, I went slowly, and found that I was understanding much much more than I was the first time. Also, it became much easier to learn. Stopping occasionally, and looking back, is perfectly OK, imo.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, if not disheartened, but it’s important to be sure to come back, to try again and again.
I’m currently at Object Oriented Programming, though I feel that I forgot probably a third or so of what I have learned. However, it still looks like continuing to go quickly (to the extent I can bear with it, of course), is fine too. So, it really depends on my mood!
Aside from going back, I also look far ahead , occasionally - e.g., I’ve done an assignment in Functional Programming, 3 lessons in Intermediate Algorithms Scripting , and even completed the first project (Palindrome Checker). Seek and Destroy was difficult for me too - it took me two versions (the first one worked partially), and three or four hours of trying, and breaking things, and searching, and what not. It worked in the end, and I liked that feeling that came when the solution finally worked in my Code + Node, as I called the function again and again, with different parameters every time…
I don’t know, if it’s good or bad, but I’m beginning to find that it is this feeling of joy, so high that I cannot describe, that makes me go to the next coding thing… It’s not the “bright future ahead” that will (hopefully) come with the new skills and knowledge, but this feeling of joy :sunglasses: I hope this helps somebody.


This topic was automatically closed 182 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.