Course textbooks, fluctuating difficulty of full stack course

Something that might come in handy for the full-stack engineer course is a textbook(s) with everything laid out as plain, boiler-plate syntax and key ideas explained.

While clearly people can make notes, compile their own digital notes, textbooks are trickier to update and so on, I’ve always found the printed word a really solid fallback for running through key ideas and being able to see them at a glance.

And although the online exercise format is clearly very useful, it’s easy to slip into a habit of doing enough to get through them without really absorbing what they’re teaching. For those trickier areas, it’s good to have something to complement the practical work and to hammer those difficult patches.

I’m 35% into the full-stack engineer course, and have tried to keep up a steady tempo, aiming to complete it faster than the recommended timeframe. This is proving a tough old grind.

While lots of the sections whizz by with ease, like a hand trailing in the cool air from a car window, there have been a mounting number of places where I’ve either felt absolutely creamed by a sudden spike in difficulty, similar to my experience of being flattened by bosses in Elden Ring and coming away feeling a bit wobbly and weary.

Perseverance paid off in the end in the Lands Between, but my confidence has been similarly rocked at times on the course despite generally getting through the tests with good scores, and there’s going to be a lot of backtracking to things I’ve gotten through but not particularly enjoyed or properly grasped and become proficient in. Hopefully I can keep going.

What made the difference in my From Software video game ordeal in the end was buying the hardcopy campaign guide, and from there systematically working through what was left to do.

It could be great to have a similar resource for the full stack course.

Suppose printing off the cheatsheets for personal reference might be a good alternative…

This is a good reminder to not solely rely on one resource when learning to program. Always seek out other resources—be they YT videos, programming books (O’Reilly has some good books), and documentation for whatever language you’re studying. If concepts on CC’s platform are not presented in a way that is understandable, you should absolutely seek out additional learning materials. You decide how you learn.

Learning to program isn’t always easy. It can be “pull your hair out” frustrating at times. But, if you stick with it, learn to take breaks, and practice on your own writing code a little bit every day, you will get there and have your “ah ha!” moments…until it just becomes second nature. (until you hit your next roadblock. j/k).

Just keep at it.

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Thanks! That’s all good advice.

At the moment it’s the second phase of the React section that’s flummoxing me with a flurry of tricky syntax that I’m finding difficult, such as …prev and the hooks and putting it all together. Before then it was JSON requests, which push come to shove aren’t too bad when following examples like building an Ikea shelf.

The React II module-end project seems pretty daunting from my current position but let’s hope I can suss it out, and to that end I’ve ordered a book that might help me to pick apart some of the ideas and scramble up the next incline. This might mean an unexpected detour reading up for a couple of days. So be it.

It’s been a humbling experience. Before starting the course I’d written a game in 12,000 lines of mainly C# (and white space and a bit of mainly wysiwyg XML), which felt like a lot to a newbie like myself, and I’d done some HTML, CSS and Javascript and made some more little games (still images, no moving graphics). It was ‘self-taught’ as in from books and all felt a really good fit - a nice combination of practical, technical and creative. Ultimately it would be nice to have that sense of competence back across the board.

Onwards and upwards.

Thanks again,

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