When did you start to understand?

Hey! I am a super beginner when it comes to coding. At what point during FCC did you start to feel like you were actually understanding how it all comes together? Not necessarily when you felt confident in your abilities, but when you started to think, “okay, I think I’ve actually got this.” Was it after the initial HTML/HTML5/CSS projects, not until finishing Java cert, etc? Thanks all!


Hey @medic_83!

I am also a beginner (4 months in) and for me certain concepts start to make sense with enough practice. For example, the first few algorithm problems in the javascript section were a little tough for me but that was because I hadn’t developed a good routine for problem solving. Once I figured that out then the algorithm sections were a lot more manageable.

Right now I am in the react portion of the front end certificate and some things are making sense but other things still seem a little fuzzy right now. But I am sure once I start working on the projects things will start to click a little bit better.

I think whenever you are learning something new at first you might not grasp everything at once but that is ok. With enough time and practice then you will be able to understand the concepts a little bit better.

Happy coding!


Thanks for responding! I am only 4 days in. I know that’s not a lot, but I do have quite a bit of time on my hands right now. I am on the project portion of the initial cert and I feel like I am starting to understand more when I put my project and the example project side by side and then type out what they have. It is helping me learn where to begin and better understand what each code does. I then go back and change things to how I want them to look. I’m not certain if this is a good way to go about it or if I truly need to start from scratch on each project in the beginning. How did you start your projects in the beginning?

I don’t think it is bad to look at the sample projects but you just have to be careful not to copy the code from the sample. Remember that the projects only have to be functional similar not stylistically similar.

What I did was make a list of the required items needed on the page and then started to design from there.

For the tribute page, the basic requirements are to have a title, centered and responsive image, a bio or timeline and some sort of link to an outside source.

Once you have those things that you can start designing. Your first projects do not need to be a masterwork but as long as it is your creation. You can always go back later on and spruce it if you want. My first project was a recipe page that was pretty simple but it was my creation after a week of coding. So I was happy.

You can also look on the forum and see what others have done but don’t be intimidated if some of the pages seemed really advanced. You have to remember that some people have prior experience with coding before they started FCC so this might not be their first project.

Thanks! When I was working on the tribute, I wasn’t certain if I was able to branch off or if I had to recreate what was given as the sample. I’ve since looked back at the forum and have seen what others have done. I feel a bit more confident now. I am currently working on the Survey form. I think I am going to copy it word for word to get a better grasp on everything coming together more. Once I complete it, I’m going to clear it out and then try to do it on my own. I appreciate all of your input! :slight_smile:

Wow, OK. Cut yourself some slack.

But to answer your question, it’s a gradual process. But yeah, I remember thinking back then, “Yeah, OK, I guess that passes. I don’t completely understand it, but I guess I’ll keep moving forward…”

And It still happens. I have been working as a professional developer for a couple of years now. There are still things I encounter that I’m still learning. And I can see it because sometimes I run across code that I wrote a year ago and realize it could have been written a lot better.

Don’t worry about perfection. Don’t worry about understanding everything and memorizing everything. Just keep moving forward and learning. Eventually things will start to stick and make more sense. This stuff is complicated and takes time to learn - that’s why it pays well.

Thanks for your input! I guess I just needed to hear from others that it’s okay to not understand it right away and that it is in fact a gradual process. I know that 4 days is definitely not far into it by a long shot. I just don’t want to get a month in and realize I’ve been doing it all wrong - such as my previous comment where I was asking if others started the projects from scratch or if they copied, then branched off. Or, exactly what you said. I wasn’t sure if I should just move forward(I am taking complete notes on every single lesson to reference back on) or should I stick on this single lesson and beat my head against the table (figurative, of course) until I grasp it completely. I appreciate your response, it has definitely helped!

There is nothing wrong with that. I had to tank my first couple of projects and restart. Don’t worry about it. Just keep learning. You can learn a lot from failed experiments. If you want to learn to write good code, you’re going to have to write a lot of bad code first.

As to notes, I used to keep a notepad next to my computer and write down subjects or whatever that I wanted to investigate more deeply. I would come back to that list sometimes. But keep moving forward.

1 Like

Thanks for the response! Hearing it from someone that’s been doing it for quite awhile makes me feel a lot more confident :slight_smile:

since the beginning I started tracking study hours and it took me 1000 hours to get to the point that I can express my thoughts with code.
after 1000 hours of study/coding I realized that now I know how it get it all together.

1 Like

Thanks! I actually found an HTML and CSS beginner video on Youtube and it brought everything together. Well, not everything obviously, but the beginning to understanding better. I found my main issue was bringing everything together and the video helped show me how to do that.

Hi @medic_83,

I am also a beginner in coding. I am learning HTML and I realized that although some concepts are simple to understand you only solidify this knowledge by practicing until it is natural for you.
I have a good learning disability, so I need to practice more to master a knowledge.
If you want my advice, I would say that you control the anxiety of moving forward in a short period of time and mainly be patient and enjoy the ride.

Thanks! This last project I did started to actually pull things together and I feel more confident now than when I initially posted this. :slight_smile:

1 Like

I started feeling like I was starting to “get” html/css and then BLAM, javascript happened. Now I haven’t touched html/css for a month -.-* and i’ll probably forget that lol. Then I started to think "oh ok, I’m started to “get” this basic javascript stuff and then BLAM the basic algorithms came and made me realize putting it all together is really hard.

Now I’m working on OOP and I’m sure I’ll have a “oh this is easy” moment just to have another BLAM happen.

Hopefully after enough blams, I’ll start to actually “get” it. XD

1 Like

Yeah, the blams keep happening. This is complex stuff (which is why it pays so well). But you get better at handling them. And yeah, you forget things, but they keep getting easier to relearn and more and more of it sticks.

All of this is completely normal.

1 Like

I completely agree! I literally commented 16h ago saying I felt like I was pulling things together and I’m starting to feel more confident. Well, I forgot I had to run tests on all my projects so I went back and did those and on the project I felt better about… like you said BLAM. I was ready to just throw my computer across the room. lol. It took me like an hour to figure out how to reformat my page.

1 Like