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Does everyone struggle to learn code?

spirit

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I'm learning JavaScript on Codecademy, and so far I've been understanding most of it. However, I'm currently completely lost on an Advanced Objects project.

Does everyone struggle to learn code? I feel really dumb right now, and not sure if I should just look up the solution and skip ahead.
 

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Ninjakid

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All my life, people told me I was smart. Teachers had high expectations of me. I was the brain of the family. I even started to believe it.

And then I started to learn code...

It took coding to realize how dumb I really am.
 

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All my life, people told me I was smart. Teachers had high expectations of me. I was the brain of the family. I even started to believe it.

And then I started to learn code...

It took coding to realize how dumb I really am.
This is the disillusionment stage that brilliant ppl go through when they find something that actually takes effort.

You’re not stupid. It just takes effort.

You’re NOT stupid. This just isn’t easy.

You’ll be probably be awesome at it if you don’t let your ego get in the way. Tell your pride to stfu, buckle your big kid seatbelt, check your mirrors, and learn how to drive.

There’s like fifteen forums where coders help each other. Search Reddit.
 

Jon L

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Yes. Coding is very difficult, if you want to be good at it. Simply setting up your development environment is enough to make you crazy.

Some people are naturally gifted at it, but their giftedness usually comes about because they spent years banging away at it, starting at a very early age.

Edit: No matter how good you are, there will be things that you bang your head against the wall on, for many hours on end (sometimes days or weeks). Once you figure them out, its usually just a few keystrokes that fixes your problem. My lead developer has 20+ years of professional development experience. He's worked on complex systems with thousands to millions of users. Just today, he called me up and said, 'I've been trying to figure this out for almost three hours now. Why is SQL Server giving me this error message?' I only knew the answer to his question because, a year ago, I'd spent 6 hours googling to figure it out.
 
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gemurdock

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javascript is terrible and should not be a first language. Python is a much better first language.
CS Major here. That is terrible advice. Javascript has a huge market actually and is worth learning. Python is also good, but is not necessarily better than JavaScript. What you really need to focus on spirit is learning to code in general. You can do that with any language. Once you learn one language all of the concepts and ideas will transfer to another language. Languages like Javascript or Python will be the easiest ones to learn. You do not have to do anything like memory management for example.

Javascript is used for front end development like VueJS, React... ect. It is also used on the backend with Node. If you do anything with the web you will have to learn it. PHP is also very popular for the backend.

Python is also a very good language and while it can be used for web development most people would never use it for that application. Frameworks like Django make you into a lazy coder and are not that well documented. You could use it for web dev, but there are better choices. Python is great for scripting, data science (python is a must for this), web scraping, and more.

If I were you, just pick a language that is not dying and learn it. The first one is always the worst. Use resources like stackoverflow, coding form for the language you are learning, build projects (this is a must) in the language you learning, and try solving problems on About - Project Euler to gain skill. It just takes practice.
 

Vegvisir

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I'm currently doing Codeacademy also and its starting to remind me of my math journey. In my K-12 education I always excelled at math and it came very easily to me so I choose engineering in college. Then came along Calculus 1-3 and Differential Equations. It was a real eye opener to what type of effort it takes to learn and understand technical skills like coding and mathematics. I had to use the free tutors our college offered and youtube videos to make it through.

Heres the bottom line, theres a reason STEM people get payed good money. Its because it takes persistent sustained effort and practice to understand those skills well enough to know what your are doing. For some people this comes naturally because they are interested in it which makes learning so much easier or they have been doing it from a young age. For others they have to rely on brute will to make it through, I'm in the later camp when it comes to coding but its a skill i need for a business venture so I refuse to quite till i get it, you need the same mindset.

Utilize all your resources when doing codeacademy. Download the PDF cheatsheets at the end of each lesson, google areas you get stuck on, look at examples of the element being used in other code on google images, take good notes on your own, and lastly you can post here and I'm sure other more advanced people can help too.

Good luck and keep at it.
 

Ninjakid

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This is the disillusionment stage that brilliant ppl go through when they find something that actually takes effort.

You’re not stupid. It just takes effort.

You’re NOT stupid. This just isn’t easy.

You’ll be probably be awesome at it if you don’t let your ego get in the way. Tell your pride to stfu, buckle your big kid seatbelt, check your mirrors, and learn how to drive.

There’s like fifteen forums where coders help each other. Search Reddit.
I don't consider myself to be brilliant. If I am being objective, I'd probably rate my intelligence as just above average, but not genius.

I know people who are actually have genius level intelligence. They can understand calculus, physics, and other scientific stuff with little to no effort and they're star academics, and excellent in school.

One thing I've noticed though is these same people are very lazy. Everything comes easy to them, so they never have to try. With little effort they already outperform almost everyone else.

The only thing I was blessed with is obsession. I tend to get obsessed with something I'm interested in, and pursue it to a high degree. But being good at something still requires a ton of effort and frustration on my part.

So yes, I'm accepted the fact that anything worth pursuing take a level of effort and discomfort.

I haven't spent a lot of time on Reddit, but maybe I'll check some of those sub-reddits out. Thanks :smile2:
 

Jon L

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I don't consider myself to be brilliant. If I am being objective, I'd probably rate my intelligence as just above average, but not genius.

I know people who are actually have genius level intelligence. They can understand calculus, physics, and other scientific stuff with little to no effort and they're star academics, and excellent in school.

One thing I've noticed though is these same people are very lazy. Everything comes easy to them, so they never have to try. With little effort they already outperform almost everyone else.

The only thing I was blessed with is obsession. I tend to get obsessed with something I'm interested in, and pursue it to a high degree. But being good at something still requires a ton of effort and frustration on my part.

So yes, I'm accepted the fact that anything worth pursuing take a level of effort and discomfort.

I haven't spent a lot of time on Reddit, but maybe I'll check some of those sub-reddits out. Thanks :smile2:
stack exchange is also invaluable. Check out Quora and do a search for questions about programming, in particular the mindset of top level programmers. Its really interesting to hear from people that are at the absolute top of their game, and have been doing programming for many decades.
 
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First of all, programming is difficult, so don't beat yourself up too much. I remember when I couldn't wrap my head around simple functions and their use, but after I kept grinding and practicing I learned. You can learn too and you don't need to be a genius at math. I doubt you will be building your own compiler or making a 3D engine. Stack Overflow is good for programming help but be careful, there are many assholes on there. It's best to google and if you can't find what you are looking for, then post on there.

Also, JavaScript is a good first language if you have HTML and CSS web basics learned. Python is good too but you can't build anything practical other than command line stuff without a bunch of work (and libraries). With web you can easily build an interface to do what you want with JavaScript.
 

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MoreValue

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I don't consider myself to be brilliant. If I am being objective, I'd probably rate my intelligence as just above average, but not genius.

I know people who are actually have genius level intelligence. They can understand calculus, physics, and other scientific stuff with little to no effort and they're star academics, and excellent in school.

One thing I've noticed though is these same people are very lazy. Everything comes easy to them, so they never have to try. With little effort they already outperform almost everyone else.

The only thing I was blessed with is obsession. I tend to get obsessed with something I'm interested in, and pursue it to a high degree. But being good at something still requires a ton of effort and frustration on my part.
This so much. My best friend from like 1st grade. He was this gifted guy and a few others. Literally slept through classes and destroyed everyone. There is a certain genetic gift that makes people good at this type of stuff naturally. Logic, Physic, Math. Anyone can do it, but if you ain’t gifted like these people, you gotta compensate hard with struggle and time.

It is better to bet on your strengths. My friend I was talking about is not an entrepreneur, but a software engineer. Life is easy for him because he bet on his strengths.

Not gonna lie, find something you are good at. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Don't try to make a weakness a strength.
 
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SamRussell

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Everything that is worth learning is hard.

I see this with guitar students a lot. They struggle with something, and worry they're stupid and they're crappy players.

If you're struggling, all that means is that you are at the very edge of your ability envelope, and you just have to keep wrestling with it. Maybe the breakthrough will come in an hour, maybe it will come next week... but if you keep wrestling with it, it will come.

I think this sort of thinking comes from event vs process thinking, a belief in natural talent, and not knowing what learning really is.

Learning isn't reciting a bunch of bullshit, like we're taught in school. It's sitting with something for a week thinking "wtf is this", and using trial and error to try out several different angles before you figure out what's going on. And then making a mini prototype in a different scenario to test you actually got it.

So the short answer - stop worrying and just keep chipping away at it!
 

Ninjakid

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stack exchange is also invaluable. Check out Quora and do a search for questions about programming, in particular the mindset of top level programmers. Its really interesting to hear from people that are at the absolute top of their game, and have been doing programming for many decades.
Oh yeah, stack exchange is my go-to place. Super helpful to the programming community in general. Even top-level programmers use stack exchange regularly. I'd love to get to a point where i know an API so well that I don't need it, but I don't know if I have enough brain power for that.

This so much. My best friend from like 1st grade. He was this gifted guy and a few others. Literally slept through classes and destroyed everyone. There is a certain genetic gift that makes people good at this type of naturally stuff. Logic, Physic, Math. Anyone can do it, but if you ain’t gifted like these people, you gotta compensate hard with struggle and time.

It is better to bet on your strengths. My friend I was talking about is not an entrepreneur, but a software engineer. Life is easy for him because he bet on his strengths.

Not gonna lie, find something you are good at. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. Don't try to make a weakness a strength.
I also noticed people tend to gravitate towards skills they're good at and pick up easily.

That said, I honestly believe hard work beats talent. Obsessive people do incredible things.
 

kelvinfernandezm

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Whenever you get stuck remember this two things.

1. You never really learn coding. Coding is always changing. Focus on the abstract concepts and try to map them in your brain.

2. Bill Gates bought the software that would later become Windows from another programmer because he didn't know how to do it and it was just easier to buy it.
 

Dr. Fastlane

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Python is also a very good language and while it can be used for web development most people would never use it for that application. Frameworks like Django make you into a lazy coder and are not that well documented. You could use it for web dev, but there are better choices. Python is great for scripting, data science (python is a must for this), web scraping, and more.
Django is not well documented? What?
It's one of the best documented web frameworks across different languages, not just Python. I generally don't participate in debates about one language against another as it's futile and subjective. But documentation is very easy to debate, you either have it or don't. Django clearly does.
 

Kraelog

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I can understand the feeling, it feel's like you're waddling through a swamp with fog in air, you see the next step but you don't have a clue why, how or where you're going. :D

It's a phase everyone goes through when learning programming, keep at it and someday soon it will just "click" and the fog will lift.
 

Tourmaline

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Yes you will be lost for a while. It's totally normal. First you need to get the hang of syntax of your language. But you don't know the grammar, the structure and logic of how it flows, so it's still bewildering. Once you get the structure and logic of programming, then it'll all click. I like to learn languages by creating simple games.

Once you've done that with a few languages, then learning any programming language is a breeze. They're all the same in essence.

Except PHP. F*** PHP.
 

Jeff Noel

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People don't always realize it, but coding requires creativity, a lot of it.

You need to find THE language that gets you all excited. The one where you keep searching for more stuff just for the sake of it. The one that gets you coding side-projects just because you want to code even more.

Once you found it, it's relatively easy to scale up your learning process and assimilate more related knowledge.

For me, it was Javascript... BUT, I had some experience of .NET (C#, VB.NET) and PHP beforehand and was already doing web development as a job when that happened.

Then I had to switch my main coding language and lost ALL motivation.
 
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tylerwilkinson

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I'm learning JavaScript on Codecademy, and so far I've been understanding most of it. However, I'm currently completely lost on an Advanced Objects project.

Does everyone struggle to learn code? I feel really dumb right now, and not sure if I should just look up the solution and skip ahead.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional coder, my projects are amateur at best.

Biggest hurdles to me along the way, regardless of what language, are generally how to apply it. Guided courses are helpful, but I learn more when I have a specific problem to solve. Then the skills I’m learning have an immediate purpose. Also. I’ve had problems with GUI development along the way. I’m not particularly visual.
It’s probably different for everyone. I wouldn’t worry about what language you learn first. If employment is the goal, just pick one that has job listings on indeed/Glassdoor/etc. Coding is coding, and you’ll learn more as you go. If a specific project is a goal, pick a stack that could handle the task and give it your best.
You’re probably not stupid.
 

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Ubu_roi

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Yes, everyone struggles when learning to code.

I've taught coding to thousands of people, and every single one struggles at some point (and not just for my teaching skills, or lack of). I also struggle when learning new frameworks and languages, but it gets faster and less frustrating with time.

So keep calm, and keep coding.

Javascript is great to start:it's flexible, and makes short things that in other languages are much longer. And generally speaking, in programming short is good. The only downside, it's definitely not the easiest to debug. Which will give you a lot of experience.

Two small tips:
1. Something that generally helps a lot are the great examples at JavaScript Tutorial. You'll find some on Objects as well.
2. 'use strict'. Always.

And I must totally agree with @Tourmaline here: I hate PHP. So happy I'm not alone in this world.

Everything else, go for it!
 

George Appiah

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CS Major here. That is terrible advice. Javascript has a huge market actually and is worth learning. Python is also good, but is not necessarily better than JavaScript. What you really need to focus on spirit is learning to code in general. You can do that with any language. Once you learn one language all of the concepts and ideas will transfer to another language. Languages like Javascript or Python will be the easiest ones to learn. You do not have to do anything like memory management for example.
I'm not a CS major... heck, I can't even write a single line of code to save my life :)

But when I read @lowtek's comment, I did not understand him to imply that JavaScript is not a valuable language in the marketplace... but that, as a first language, and especially for someone learning on your own, JavaScript may frustrate you and possibly make you even give up. And in that respect, JavaScript may be a "terrible language" and Python may be a better choice to begin your coding journey with.

There's probably a good reason many colleges teach particular languages as a first language, with Python sitting high on that short list.

Again, I'm not a developer... but I think @lowtek's comment was taken out of context.

But then again, what do I know?
 

jon.M

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CS Major here. That is terrible advice. Javascript has a huge market actually and is worth learning. Python is also good, but is not necessarily better than JavaScript. What you really need to focus on spirit is learning to code in general. You can do that with any language. Once you learn one language all of the concepts and ideas will transfer to another language. Languages like Javascript or Python will be the easiest ones to learn. You do not have to do anything like memory management for example.

Javascript is used for front end development like VueJS, React... ect. It is also used on the backend with Node. If you do anything with the web you will have to learn it. PHP is also very popular for the backend.

Python is also a very good language and while it can be used for web development most people would never use it for that application. Frameworks like Django make you into a lazy coder and are not that well documented. You could use it for web dev, but there are better choices. Python is great for scripting, data science (python is a must for this), web scraping, and more.

If I were you, just pick a language that is not dying and learn it. The first one is always the worst. Use resources like stackoverflow, coding form for the language you are learning, build projects (this is a must) in the language you learning, and try solving problems on About - Project Euler to gain skill. It just takes practice.
IMO JS and Python are pretty much exchangeable. Both are interpreted scripting languages with similar syntax, especially if you go with JS Standard style which makes it appear a bit more approachable to a beginner.

Django's very well-documented. And you could similarily say JS turns you into a lazy programmer since lots of the code out there is kind of terrible.
 
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gemurdock

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Django is not well documented? What?
It's one of the best documented web frameworks across different languages, not just Python. I generally don't participate in debates about one language against another as it's futile and subjective. But documentation is very easy to debate, you either have it or don't. Django clearly does.
Maybe it has changed since I used it. My past experience with it wasn't that great for their documentation. Their product worked very well though. Either way it is obvious that it is not a question of if you have it or don't. The question is the quality of the documentation.
 

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This thread is a breath of fresh air. I’m reasonably competent in HTML and CSS, know some JS and I’ve concluded that my web app / SAAS concept will be primarily built using Angular with a mix of other frameworks in later versions/feature upgrades.

right now I’m balls deep in learning it. I’m crawling along, but slowly things are coming together and I’m actually retaining things, but yes, it’s a grind. But I’m actually really enjoying the process.

Thank you for this thread. The replies have made me feel much better about the snails pace of my “education”.
 

neoswarm

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I'm a "software architect" (a glorified name for a programmer). I even have a CS degree so I'm no slouch. We are currently re-architecting/re-writing our $30+ Million/monthly recurring application and for the first time in years I'm a bit lost. I know I will find the promised land -- as I've done it before many times. The tools change, the languages -- it's never "easy" building & learning something worthwhile. It's funny -- just today I felt like quitting my job :) But I know better than that.....I'm in the best spot in my life to build my business (I work remote and have 'unlimited' time off).

The struggle is real.....even with veterans.
 

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Yes, everyone struggles when learning to code.

I've taught coding to thousands of people, and every single one struggles at some point (and not just for my teaching skills, or lack of). I also struggle when learning new frameworks and languages, but it gets faster and less frustrating with time.

So keep calm, and keep coding.

Javascript is great to start:it's flexible, and makes short things that in other languages are much longer. And generally speaking, in programming short is good. The only downside, it's definitely not the easiest to debug. Which will give you a lot of experience.

Two small tips:
1. Something that generally helps a lot are the great examples at JavaScript Tutorial. You'll find some on Objects as well.
2. 'use strict'. Always.

And I must totally agree with @Tourmaline here: I hate PHP. So happy I'm not alone in this world.

Everything else, go for it!
:rofl: @Tourmaline @Ubu_roi - Agreed PHP is a f'ing nightmare. I am learning it in combo with Jquery for a month now, and it feels like I am running in deep water.

Can you recommend an alternative more efficient route, other than PHP, for full-stack development?
 

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