Very new to code, very motivated, but very confused

Hello out there,

I am very new to coding, and I am loving it, but I have had a few hiccups with application. I completed the first course of CodeAcademy, but then found freecodecamp and liked the teaching methods much better. I feel like freecodecamp, while it gave examples in the challenges, didn’t give quite as much of a crutch. I felt like you could practically copy and paste the code in CodeAcademys challenges to get through it, but freecodecamp would at least switch a few things up so you really had to pay attention to the instructions.

Long story long I made it to the first project building challenge in freecodecamp (the tribute webpage), and while I did complete it, I feel like there are major holes in my code. I also misunderstood the challenge a bit so it is practically a carbon copy of the example site.

I don’t want to complete these challenges just to get through them. I want to really retain the knowledge and understand what I am doing.

I guess I am not even really sure what I am asking here, but I felt like there was a few concepts I completely missed when building my first project. I suppose I am wondering if anyone else felt the same and what they did to gain the knowledge before moving on.

Any help for a newb would be greatly appreciated!


Hey, this is so normal, and that’s why i love free code camp. I am very new to code as well, started 2 week ago.

Here i noticed that we don’t really have answers to the projects, we learn some basics first and then we need to create something that, usually, will require more knowledge.

I finished my tribute page this last week and the page looked like that: It sucks, it’s awful, but that was my first project.

Moving on to the next project, the portfolio, when i first started i had ZERO idea what i was doing and i also had no idea how to do it. Simply follow the “Search/Ask/Learn” method and you’ll be all right, that’s what i’ve learned.Here’s what the portfolio looks so far: . Not even half of it is done but, damn, WAY better than the tribute page, i love coding! :smiley:


Thanks so much for the reply! It feels good to know that I am not the only one in this boat.

I have really only been at it for about a week now. This is where I ended up on my tribute page

I was a bit intimidated to start straight in on the portfolio after the way I had to get through the tribute page. I was search/ask/learning at every corner. While I understood a lot of the concepts I felt like I had to get a refresher before the knowledge really showed itself in my brain.

Did you go back to do any of the other challenges before you starting in on the portfolio project?


Why did you feel there were holes in your code?
It is natural to have doubts about your work and your abilities. I think any one taking on the challenge of learning web development will go through that.
As far as being a carbon copy of the example tribute page, I think the point was to show that even thoes that are very new to coding can accomplish a given coding task.
Feel proud that you were able to complete that challenge and carry the confidence forward to more learning and coding.
The fact that you did not expand on the example does not detract from the fact that you were able to complete the challenge.
If you were hired by a client to develop a tribute page they may want simple and thats what you would provide. Not to say, that you couldn’t present a page with more features for a client to review. Remember, as front end developers, most of the time it is going to be about what the client wants.


To be honest, i went back to see some syntax because i thought thats how i was supposed to do but after i searched for some help on google i prefer to ask in forums/chat.

You won’t really have answers looking back, you will know the basics but, for example, there’s nothing telling you how to create a nav bar. You could create it manually, i tried it and i don’t think that’s worth because we dont have that much knowledge to make it look cool, or look for it in (Gotta love this site). There’s no scape, we need to ask/search/practice until we get good at it.

Someone suggested me this site: to play with CSS.

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Thanks for the reply.

In terms of the final product I was actually quite happy with it considering I only started in on this a few days ago. What I meant when I said “holes in my code” is that as much as I could I tried to just build of what I remembered, but there was plenty of googling involved as well as taking a few sneak peaks at the examples code.

In saying that I feel like I found what I would call “loopholes” to make elements act as I wanted them to. When comparing what I did to the examples code, it was way off. Particularly in the use of the columns and rows elements. I felt like I really started to grasp that as I did the challenges but as soon as I was working from scratch it wasn’t as easy to visualize how to implement that type of coding into building what I was envisioning.

I absolutely understand that at the end of the day sometimes people are going to ask you to do something very specific and there may even be a roadmap to follow to get those results. I would just like to be a but more confident in my own skills without having to rely on a roadmap. As much as I tried to absorb that knowledge as I did the challenges I think the columns and rows bit escaped me in terms of how to use it functionally when there isn’t a clear table present in the site.

Hope that makes sense!

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That is actually quite comforting to hear. I feel a little less intimidated to just go head on into the next challenges and try to work it out as I go.

The one thing I did notice is that as I was trying to apply code into a real project the concepts resonated with me a bit more in terms of knowing what I wanted out of my site and trying to write code to make it happen. When doing the challenges and the code is presented its pretty easy to replicate, but when you have an end goal first, I feel like you really have to know how to make it happen.

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Hi there!

I was my first 2 months at Codeacademy, it was good good for beggining stages. Then my fiance found FFC where I received map of necessary skills to become front end developer. Very very satisfied that I got it for free. As far I researched as front end developer main important skills are HTML , CSS, JavaScript (bootsrap, jquery and it is good to know how to use also Wordpress) .
right now I got book HTML and CSS, learning and repeating . I also did my tribute page, of similar reasons like u, I went in repeating codes and use of them. When I will be more confident with my knowledge I will continue to Portfolio project. I also heard from some YouTube channel that even good web developer forgets things, and time by time u just need to open your notes. :slight_smile:
Carry on your studies, 2 weeks is nothing. Beginning stage! Give credit to your self that you dare to make already page. :slight_smile:

my tribute page


The concept of the Bootstrap grid system is, I assume, somewhat foriegn to most of us at first. I think most people learn through repetition and exercise. When we were children in kindergarden and first grade did we learn the alaphabet by seeing it once or twice? I think the answer for most of us is no.
It took lots of repetition and different types of presentation for us to learn it.
Think of the grid system as the alphabet of Bootstrap keep looking at different examples and tutorials to get a handle on it. It may be dissapointing to realize that, hey I didn’t learn Bootstrap in 2 days, but I’m betting you didn’t learn the alphabet in 2 days either.
If you moved to a new city tommorrow would you know how to navigate that city without a roadmap?
Get my point?
In my opinion you were doing the right thing by using google to look for answers. You decided to search for help and not give up.
That is a VICTORY!

My point is, keep at it. Eventually you won’t need a roadmap.

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Relax, you are in this like you said a week or few.
It is natural to get hiccups on these concepts, because we are not taught to think like that.

After a while the concept will starts to sink in, I don’t tell you how long because the time frame might shock you. Once you get through this hiccup, you will be able to mock up the project or problems in your mind.

I haven’t done my portfolio page yet, but I should.
This is my tribute.

This is what I practice and do using vanilla everything.

So just keep going. Things will sets in and get easier. But you won’t reach the point like iron man programming on 3 keyboard lol that’s so Hollywood :stuck_out_tongue:


I suppose when you put it that way it makes a lot more sense.

I think with all the feedback I’ve realized its natural to have done it the way I did.

I guess what I was wondering originally was if the way it was taught was set up to have you absorb the knowledge before you moved on or if it would be touched on again and again as you moved through helping you really understand it.

I appreciate the perspective you’ve given me on it. Only thing to do now is continue onward!

Please don’t abuse css classes like that, it hurts my eyes! Sarcasm aside, you should have made a new list and pulled it right, and inside it made 3 points in a horizontal list. That way you wouldn’t have to repeat a pull right 3 times.
I only reached your top navigation bar so can’t comment on the rest :smiley:
It looks good! Way better than mine, at least. But there is a problem - if the page is narrow and a horizontal scroll appears, your background image and other elements get narrow enough to fit onto the screen, but horizontal bar doesn’t disappear. If you scroll, you only get empty space. I had this same problem once and I can’t remember how I solved it (I think I made inner elements rely on parent width, not screen/page width, but I’m not entirely sure).

Check it yourself - make codepen narrow, so narrow it doesn’t fit. Image does not get centered, it gets cut off when you scroll.

Or it may be mobile phone issue with codepen, although I had it with other narrow pages - in my desktop browser when I made it real narrow.

I think it had something to do with min width…

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From a teacher’s perspective:
Learning is difficult. If you are not feeling frustrated and lost then you’re doing it wrong. Also, none of these free web sites were designed by professional educators, but by coders trying to help others. So these lessons are not designed very well (no offense to anyone involved).
Having said that, I am very, very grateful that freecodecamp and others exist. It is so much easier to learn this way with a group and being able to try things out directly within the web site than say out of a book. And it is awesome being able to go down this path without shelling out thousands only to find out it may not be the best fit for you.
I’ve found that scrolling through the forum and looking for people having trouble with something you’ve already done is a great way to build knowledge by troubleshooting. It’s also nice to help others out since you will also be needing others help at some point. :slight_smile:
I leave you with something I tell my students: Everyone likes knowing things, but not everyone is willing to put in the work required by the learning process. Only you can decide if the effort is worth it.


This should help you out a lot and at the end of the course you will be employable.

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Thanks for posting this link! Look forward to using this course along with freecodecamp to further my knowledge.