Worried that I'm not properly learning

So I recently started the Responsive Web Design projects and while I’m pretty proud of what I was able to accomplish with the tribute page, I’m starting to worry a little with the survey form…I’ve been looking at other people’s survey forms and the FCC example one and I’m seeing a lot of design elements that I’d really like to implement in my own survey form. The thing is that I don’t want to copy anyone else’s code because I fear that I won’t learn if I do. I hear programmers joking about how much time they spend copy pasting from stack overflow all the time but I fear that if I do that then I’ll never be able to produce anything on my own. At the same time though, I don’t know how to implement a lot of the features I’m seeing and I’d really like to but I don’t know how to do that without basically copying what someone else has already done…

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

First of all, what you are feeling is very normal. Secondly, it’s good that you’re thinking about these things.

Don’t worry about being able to do the fancy tricks that other people do. Maybe they have previous experience. Maybe they are just cutting and pasting from other people’s projects or SO. Don’t worry about what they are building, just build something good yourself. Just meet the criteria.

I think a good strategy is to build it the best you can with as little peaking as possible. Then, after you’re done, take a look and see how other people have done it.

Yes, I too (as a professional developer) spend time looking on SO. I do cut and paste snippets. But (and this is very important) I never put anything in my code that I don’t understand. If I find a solution to a small problem that I couldn’t have come up with on my own, I learn it and now I do know it - it is part of my coding vocabulary. No one does this all without see what others have done. That may be in the context of a structured course or “learning as you go” by finding a way to solve a specific problem.

I was a jazz guitarist before dev. I knew a lot of jazz students who insisted that they would never copy anyone else’s licks. They would develop their own vocabulary in their own voice on their own. A lot of them didn’t want to learn theory. They would only play what they hear. To put it bluntly … they all sucked. They only ever heard what was already in their heads. The point of learning other people’s licks and theory wasn’t to become a robot, but to expand what they could hear and to suggest new ideas. It was to expand the number of available colors on their palette. In the words of Clark Terry: imitate, assimilate, innovate. I think it is the same for coding.

So, don’t be so hard on yourself. If you learn something from what you do, then it served its purpose.


@kevinSmith That was really encouraging, thank you!

I just started learning how to code a couple of months ago and I had the same feelings like you . When I started the responsive projects I really wanted to create projects with cool features but I didn’t know how. My mom had to point out that I was beginner and it just takes practice and experience. One day with enough practice and knowledge we will be able to create really cool and complex projects but it just takes time and patience.

I would suggest looking at the w3schools website into their How To section which has a lot of cool tutorials . https://www.w3schools.com/howto/default.asp

Take a look at the code and go through it line by line and try to understand what is going on. I just went through this process a few days ago when I googled how to create an image slider. The search results led me to w3 Schools and I learned a lot by looking at the code. Hope this helps.

Happy coding!

1 Like

Very support your point of view

I had the same concern when i was doing it.
" how are they doing this , wassat , I guess so "

oh the conversations i had with myself… :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

At the end, i understood what was going on. The code that made no sense was from ‘advanced’ students. Some of the things they included i had yet to learn.

Like the mentors are sayin - read their code, make mistakes, get ‘current’ books to refer to. You will understand down the road!

I made this post for basically anyone who is struggling: