Workflow suggestions for limited coding time?

Hello! I started learning to code last July, and I’m a little embarrassed by how little progress I’ve made since then. (Especially when reading all of these “inspirational” stories of people breaking into the industry within six months to a year of starting!)

Even though I started coding a year ago, I haven’t been as consistent as I wanted to be. Looking over my habit tracker for coding, I seem to code consistently for about 2-3 months, then burn out and break from coding for another 2-3 months. If I were to add up all of the days I coded within the past year, I’d probably end up with only 4-5 months. When I do the math it’s no wonder I still feel like I can barely do anything!

Anyways, I feel like at a minimum I need to be putting in at least an hour a day, and I’m going to try pushing for two hours a day. So I guess this is my main question: if I only have two hours a day, what’s the best way to use that time?

I know the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (+ working with tools like the command line, npm, git, GitHub, sass, etc.). I’ve built several projects through Udemy courses, but never one on my own (except for a very bad attempt at the FCC “Tribute Page” project). Since I hear over and over again about the value of just jumping in and creating stuff, I thought I’d spend two hours a day just working on building as much as I can.

Problem is, I find myself sitting and scratching my head for most of those two hours. My code is a mess, and the knowledge I’ve gathered through all of these courses is a complete jumble in my head, too. I understand that this is a normal part of building something (especially something on your own, and above your current skill level), but I get really frustrated by the feeling that I’m wasting those two hours with nothing to show for it.

So what do you think? At this point should I just buckle up and throw myself into projects for two hours a day despite the frustration? Should I split it between an hour of projects and an hour of tutorials (like FCC, Udemy, etc.)? Would appreciate any advice you may have!

I would start with building something small. Like a navigation bar from your favorite news site and start fiddling around with that. Eventually, you will gain the confidence to build more complex things.

This is my best advice

This is very much a use it or lose it skill. It’s not completely cumulative, so 2-3 months over a year gets you less progress than 2-3 months straight. If doing this every day makes you “burn out”, stop trying to do it every day. Pick a reasonable goal. 5 days a week? 3?

Building something crappy is better than building nothing. It’s better to get something small and ugly and then work on improving it than sit paralyzed trying to think about how to make something brilliant. It’s better to spend an hour writing a bunch of code that you change, move around, comment out, delete, play with than to wait until you can write it right the first time.


^^^ What she said supports my advice

Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll keep giving a crack at projects, but I’ll probably try to fit at least some time in for general tutorials (so even if I get really frustrated with the projects, I can feel like I’m making progress elsewhere).