It's NOT acceptable if I rely on reading the forum topics for help MUCH OF THE TIME, is it?


#1

My name is Chris Tabron. I've started on HTML since I was 16, but I've stopped because of the hard times in my life and all of the constant stress in high school.

I'm new to making topics, sharing my interests, sharing my opinions, sharing my thoughts, talking about my stupid problems, diagnosed with stupid Asperger's syndrome, and my confidence level is LOW.

I have been struggling a lot on Python for five days now and my question of whether I should just read the forum topics for answers on the current unit or not when I'm stuck on fixing and replacing lines of code bothers me a lot.

I often think about giving up right now or moving on to find yet another decent resource where the instructions are slightly less confusing or misleading. I've tried to use Google many times to find some solutions, but I keep telling myself that it could count against me because I really feel like I'm just learning nothing at all. I just don't want to end up becoming one of those dreaded "cargo-cult programmers", copying and stealing lines and lines of code from someone else.

DOES Codecademy have a rule for looking through the Q&A forums during a lesson much of the time?

I've already read online that Codecademy "doesn't teach the mindset" and there could possibly be other flaws in all of the courses that could stop me from moving forward with confidence.

I'm extremely tired of asking this same stupid question here and I'm extremely tired of asking this myself over and over again. This will be the first and last time I'm asking here, I feel like this topic is in the wrong category.

Feel free to spread any hate towards me. I had to start asking and I won't post anything again until I have the chance to report any real difficulties I'm having on any course. I'm sorry.


#2

(FYI, I know this is the worst way to start some topic, it's a waste of my damn time, and no one cares.)


#3

Use google liberally. The goal is to learn, not to finish exercises, so find the information you need to solve the exercises, there's no upper limit in how much you should look up. Get what you need. Get it multiple times too, the things you have to look up often will stick, the ones you don't you don't need to remember anyway. Get good at finding things, you can't remember everything anyway.

I agree with most of what that article says, codecademy does a whole lot spoon-feeding, some of the newer courses are particularly bad, providing every single line for you to copy.

Codecademy courses are like very brief tours on their topics, they're good for getting an idea of what can be done, showing some of what exists in the topic. Written tutorials can sometimes stay very long on each topic and might not encourage trying things out.

Stackoverflow and the like usually have answers to how to solve various small problems, don't take anything said there as fact, but certainly consider what they suggest.

REPL's are useful for testing small things out, interacting with code, particularly reflective languages where it's easy to use code to inspect what is going on. Python is my go-to calculator so there's usually at least one Python REPL running in a terminal when I'm on a computer.

What codecademy courses are not is accurate, precise, complete descriptions, whenever you're wondering about some finer detail you should be googling and looking for well maintained sources like official documentation. Get friendly with those, use them to look up how things behave whenever in the slightest doubt.

If you're struggling with something then consider what it is you're missing. You're not meant to be in situations where you have to guess, you should instead go find out. If you don't know what individual things in the language do, look them up. If you don't know how to implement an action you want to perform, look that up. If you don't know what is happening in your code, add print statements and observe. If you don't know how to write something, then refer to how you would solve the task manually, think in terms of actions that can carried out. Writing code is about describing actions so well that they can be carried out by a machine, so figuring out what those actions are comes first.


#4

Honestly, I was expecting an negative answer from somebody else, but I appreciate your response.

Maybe it could benefit my skills a little. MAYBE.


#5

Why were you expecting a negative response? :confused: You're asking perfectly valid questions about how heavily it's alright to rely on a search engine and how codecademy compares to hacker culture in general.

And about copying code - I don't much like including code that I don't understand because then I don't know if it handles all corner cases or is doing reasonable actions. Sometimes reading it convinces me of that it's okay, and then I might as well bring it into my code. More often yet it'll be the general concept of how to do something, and will have to implement it myself after having understood it, or gaining the understanding while implementing it.


#6

Someone might complain about me complaining a lot and this type of question has already been asked many times by most of the users on the forums, right?


#7

*shrug*


#8

Hey, welcome, @whatequalstwelve !

Feel free to look at whatever Q&A forum content helps you learn, do your best to understand the code, and consult outside sources of information, as well. Many resources can be helpful to you, so long as you strive to understand what you find there. Discover what helps you, as an individual, the most. We all look at code as an essential part of our learning experience.

Just as importantly, enjoy your time here at Codecademy.


#9

Hi @whatequalstwelve

When I feel like I am walking around in circles I remind myself that frustration is to be expected.

Interview with Travis Nelson from DevTips

The whole video is excellent , but at 12:40 they are really getting to the core question. "How willing am I to be uncomfortable?"

Stay strong!