What is the best way to practice?

Hello! I’ve been learning JavaScript for about a month now. I’ve been going through the lessons on FreeCodeCamp and taking a course on Udemy by Zero to Mastery. I don’t like just flying the courses but always find myself doing just that. Then I get so far and realize I’ve not retained something I should have and find myself lost. In the FreeCodeCamp curriculum, I am in the middle of basic data structure scripting challenges and I find myself having to look at the solution more than I should need. Some guidance on how to practice to get better would be great.

Don’t look at the solutions until you have created your own solution first. If you get stuck, ask detailed questions on the forum. Explain what confuses you to us. We can help guide you to your own solution, no matter how long it takes. Over time, you will get better at solving the challenges with little to no help.

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Hello @MasterTobias! I could say the same when I first learned JavaScript through YT on FreeCodeCamp’s channel (without basic knowledge on HTML and CSS). After I finished the whole video, I ended up questioning myself what to do with JavaScript… where to use it. Even if I would have known the answer, I think my JS skills would not be on par to what I have as I wrote this.

What helped me understand how to use JavaScript is by building project websites. Other than manipulating your HTML (like moving elements, using CSS classes through JS by making elements appear or disappear), you can use it to manipulate data as well by extracting user input and storing it somewhere, to be used later.

Learning how to do those things as well as using them constantly throughout my projects made me retain my JS concepts well.

If you think you lack those JS skills in you, TheOdinProject might help you. Its project based, you get experience by working on them (I’m doing a Todo List currently).

And I think its okay to start over from the begining. That is what I did. You never know, you might learn more by doing so.

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Make revisions of the course, especially parts that you found harder to complete.

The “I can’t remember anything I’ve learned” feeling is normal. You remember more than you realize and also you don’t have to memorize everything. It’s more important to know the kinds of things you can do and be able to google the details. Googling the push method because you can’t remember what it returns is not cheating - developers do that all day long.

You are not expected to memorize that. More important would be:

I need to get and remove the first item off an array … wait, there was a method for that… let me google ‘JS remove first element of array’ … oh, the shift method … let me google ‘mdn array shift’ to confirm how it works"

That is not cheating, that is being a developer. Granted after you use these for a while, the “easier” ones will stick in your memory, but there will always be things you can’t remember. In fact, I’d say that the more programming, the things you can’t remember and need to google will increase, because your domain of knowledge is so much larger. So, get used to it.

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I appreciate the comment and the wisdom. Thank you!

That’s a great idea. You know what’s wild is finding some of the advanced topics easier to grasp than the basic ones.

you’re walking / going through tutorial hell; don’t worry I did the same whole 2021 and it took me entire year to realize the mistake

Solutions:

  1. Start building projects Frontend Mentor | Challenges, start with HTML and CSS, later jump into JS projects. This is the only way to build your coding muscles; there is not other way

  2. JavaScript on Exercism, start doing small challenges as well.

All the very best

Cheers,
Vikram