Using Tutorials


I’ve been getting the basics of javascript down and have some confidence in my abilities now. Can’t create anything huge yet, but I’m hopefully getting there. I’ve discovered that using tutorials on youtube, specifically codingtutorials360, really help me understand the freecodecamp projects better and open my mind up to the possible solutions that they may have as well as the code behind them. Usually, my process is to copy the solutions down exactly as they are and then change them up according to my own style. By the end, I fully understand every section of code in the project and am able to create it again on my own without any sort of reference. On the other hand, when I try to complete the project on my own, I usually am able to put something together but it turns out to be quite rudimentary and I still lack complete understanding of the topic, having learned less along the way all in all. What I want to know is this, is what I’m doing against the freecodecamp rules and will I be denied my certification or not?

I dont think that it will affect your ability to get a cert, but I think the thing to be more concerned with is being able to complete challenges and projects on your own so that you understand it… cause as you move further on, as you may notice, it builds in complexity… Like someone had posted on the forum earlier today that I thought was a brilliant way of putting it, the purpose isnt to finish the challenge and move on, its to understand the challenge.

Im not the biggest fan of video tutorials for myself, because I dont wanna watch someone else or be taken step by step, I wanna dive in and get my hands dirty…Im overeager :laughing: But really I dont retain anything if i follow through specific steps, I need to go through and error and make some mistakes to understand how something works.

So when Im having problems, I dont head straight for the answer to the challenge, I google how to do something in JavaScript and try to learn from the examples…Sometimes it takes me awhile to ask the right questions and google the right thing to finally get something useful, but I figure not only am I learning the right way to think about solving a problem, but also learning the wrong way cause if I cant find anything at all to help me I need to change my approach.

I do know though that there are people who love and prefer video tutorials, hopefully someone will help offer some advice on how to retain the info from them…just offering up an alternative way to research your way to an answer and understanding cause what you describe is exactly how I feel about videos…I can follow directions like a pro, but once the video is over, Im no closer to being able to stand on my own two feet and thats way more frustrating to me than the challenge of figuring it out on my own…takes longer, but by the time Im done, I understand what just happened.

Thanks for the feedback!

May be worth mentioning that with my very first projects, I had to use a tutorial as javascript was still very foreign to me(APIs were a pain). As I’ve moved on to the advanced projects(currently doing pomodoro clock), I’m now able to construct solutions and usually have a rough idea of what to do after checking out the given sample project, that in itself shows that tutorials have helped my learning I think. I still use them as I feel they show me how to properly refine my code and put out something half-way respectable as well as give me new ideas, for example putting the operators into an array for the calculator project; but as I said, I understand every piece of code that I put into my projects and I always test them out and play with them. I even sometimes recreate the project using completely different methods of coding just to test out a hunch, not that it matters since it’s usually not the project who’s link I post in the freecodecamp website. What I’m saying is I truly feel like it helps my learning and I’m not just copying what the tutorials give me. I understand if it doesn’t work out for you, everyone has their own method of learning, but I can see the progress in myself and definitely do retain the info given in them. I would just like to know if I’ll have any trouble getting my certs since doing the nonprofits are a big goal for me.

How would anyone know apart from you?

If you don’t understand how it works and are simply copying code, and you continued to do that, at some point this will cause an issue (ie you are in a job and someone asks you to modify something but you don’t actually understand anything because you’ve just copy pasted all the code you’ve ever done - note this happens quite often, I’ve had to fix stuff where contractors have done this). But this doesn’t seem to be the case at all. You don’t need to justify your learning process if it works, noone is marking you or checking your work for plaigarism. Just make sure you understand stuff.

Ohh okay, I tihnk I misunderstood… I thought that when it came time to do your own projects, you lacked understanding, werent able to write your own code and copying other code to use in it instead, hence the question…

Not really sure how to approach the question because at a loss now from your second reply if you are writing code or copying code for your projects cause you said that you do understand it all afterall, but Dan really sums up the root of it all…that if you are copying and pasting code in your projects, and thats the route you want to go, no it wont affect getting your cert. Our projects arent reviewed until we get to the non profit project. No idea if it will affect you at that point.

If you are writing the code on your own, then you’re doing fine and def have nothing to worry about with your certs or project review when it comes to the non profit projects. And yeah, same here… I didnt know JavaScript at all before FCC… so its exciting really, to start at nothing and see how far Ive come.

Thanks for the reply. I’m really confident about my learning process and have no doubt that what I’m doing is boosting my knowledge in javascript and programming in general. My only uncertainty is whether I will be denied participation in the nonprofits because of it.

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The non-profit projects are being replaced with open source for good so you don’t need to worry about the being denied.

Ohhh no no more non profit projects?? I didnt know that! When did this come about…and what is open source for good? Would be interested in some info, cause collaborating on a non profit project was a huge draw for me joining FCC and something I was really looking forward to

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Basically rather than helping a single nonprofit you help 100s of non-profits by writing tools that benefit them all. You are still helping nonprofits but in a new way :slight_smile:

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Ahhh okay… so instead of helping individually, we’ll be building open source applications that any of them will be able to use? Okay, that sounds good too lol :blush:

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Yea - it’s still in the works but it’ll be coming soon.

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Thanks for the help everyone.