What code should I be learning?

I started learning HTML about two weeks ago. now I’m into the CSS portion and I’m getting lost and having trouble understanding any of it. I dont know if its me or maybe that particular language isnt for me. Is it normal to have difficulty understanding concepts or is coding not for me?


I’m having A Day, so I’m going to be real here:
This shit is hard.

Programming is hard. That’s why it’s such an in-demand skill and why it pays well. Learning to program for the first time is very very hard. It’s alien territory for many people.

You’re going to struggle at many different points while learning to code. Whether you continue or not has nothing to do with learning the “right” first language; it’s how you respond to that frustration. If you want to do this, you are going to have to be ready to do lots of Google searches, struggle through confusing explanations and documentation, ask for help, and keep trying to solve the same problem different ways for days at a time.

There is no special set of skills or knowledge that you have to already have for coding to be ‘for you’. Anyone able-minded person has the capacity to become a programmer. You can do this if you willing to persist through the struggle, staying curious, humble, and open-minded.


I’m gonna add a little color to Ariel’s post:

I spent 11 hours over the last two weeks (I logged it) working on an issue for my current project. I had actually stopped working on it for the last couple days because I was getting a little frustrated. This morning I decided to give it another shot. Even when I got to my computer and had a feeling of “ugh… what if I still can’t fix it?”

I’ve been coding for 20 years. I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying this because it’s just part of software, or anything where you’re learning new things.

Software engineers are constantly learning new and complicated things. It’s just part of it.

Here’s the good news: I fixed it 15 minutes ago. And when I realized it was fixed I literally jumped out of my chair and danced around like an idiot, then hit my foot on the chair, and it was awesome anyway. Because that’s how satisfying it is.

When you finally understand something you feel like a champ. Your brain clicks and it feels great. Keep at it. It is worth it.

Is it normal to have difficulty understanding concepts or is coding not for me?

YES, it’s normal. 100% normal. I don’t know if you’re looking to make a career out of code or just a hobby, but either way, it’s normal.

If it’s for hobby: It’s a blast. Yes it can be frustrating, but that’s what makes it worth it. If you’re looking for an easy hobby, Netflix is enjoyable too :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

If it’s for money: You want it to be hard. This is what scares people away. This is why it pays so well. Because it’s hard. No one gets paid a lot of money to do something easy. Simple as that. If you want to stand out: Go toward the hard things that scare other people away and keep working at it until you get it done.


I appreciate the honesty and realism of your reply. Something I really needed. I feel like taking a day or two break and practice what I know how to do just for fun.

Again, Thank you


thank you for that, it’s true also for other fields. I was lately a bit put out with what I am studying, but yeah, I am doing this because it’s hard and not for everyone and it is for that that people get paid

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No problem :slight_smile:

Here’s a related quote I like, which I think about almost daily:

Today I do what others wont so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t

It’s by Jerry Rice, a football player, but it applies to a lot more than sports as far as I’m concerned.


Coding has exploded in recent years, changing from something used in computer games and the occasional electronic device, to something which shapes the way that we live in the modern world McDVOICE


Personally, I recommend against trying to learn coding by watching YouTube videos. Watching somebody else code is no replacement for actually trying to code yourself. YouTube videos are useful for clarifying or sharpening your understanding of specific topics, but the only way to really get good at coding is to write code.

I’m also not a huge fan of trying to learn by duplication of tutorials. Learning occurs when you are thinking about what you are doing, and code along videos or tutorials don’t require a lot of thinking.

Free Code Camp’s approach of giving you an example and asking you to modify or extend the example to do something similar or related is the most pedagogically sound approach that I have seen.

Super normal for it to feel difficult. I would often struggle with the question of, “Why?” “Why does this have to look this way?”

I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of reminding myself that behind all this code there was and still are a bunch of people; people who design and shape these computer languages to solve particular problems/get the computer to do something valuable. This has helped me re-engage and focus my learning.


All right, you said you started HTML 2 weeks ago. How many hours a day is that two weeks? If it’s one hour a day, that’s only 14 hours of learning, not even one whole day! How would anyone really expect to learn and use all of those tags and attributes in less than one day? Even a few hours a day would not be a long time.

Remember, CSS is about manipulating the HTML, so you should know HTML well, so you know what it is you are going to affect with CSS.


FYI, I’ve read that HTML and CSS are not programming languages. You can Google it. After finish HTML and CSS, you will learn Javascript which is a programming language. Good luck :four_leaf_clover:

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If you do it right, HTML/CSS can be Turing complete

No feeling quite like the programmer’s high when you have a major breakthrough.

No lesson learned quite like the one that comes from pulling your hair out at 1 AM.

Many are the times that I’ve looked at my code/computer and said: It’s either me or you, and ain’t gonna be me.

Coding is one of those few things I know that can be incredibly frustrating, humbling, and once it works, satisfying; all in a span of about 30 minutes.

At the same time it’s incredibly cool because you’re literally creating something from nothing.

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Programming is hard ( not trying to scare u ) but it is, u need to put a lot of time and effort on it to become good at it , so keep working

I suppose that depends on your definition of “doing it right” lol

Fair. I don’t know enough HTML/CSS to know how much of a monster that is!

A huge thank to everyone sharing their experiences and insight!
I’m starting the first responsive web design challenge and it has been a situation! I was (and I’m sure will still continue to be) super frustrated that the sessions I passed were completely gone from memory and I had no idea how to start but like everything, the point is to just start and then build on what I’ve laid down. I just achieved something I was very frustrated with for 5 hours so I’m now completely feeling the high of “I CAN DO THIS!”

Coding is hard , not trying to scare u but it is, so just keep continuing and practice and practice and you’ll get better at it