Learning Style Question

I am working my way through the Full Stack Development path and I’m starting to work things that are new to me. I know that programming is hard but I find myself getting more out of watch solutions than grinding against the material on my own. Is this normal? Am I fooling myself? Is there something different I should be taking from lessons that maybe I’m not?

Hiya! I work on the curriculum team here at Codecademy and think your post is super valuable as a discussion around learning practices. Some folks here have recently been doing research on this topic and in general the research shows that the more effort you put into learning something, the better you will understand and retain that information. Looking at solutions may feel helpful, but it’s actually less effective than if you were to keep trying and struggling, looking at resources, etc. When you work through the problem on your own, you’re cementing what you’ve learned and connecting it to prior knowledge - ultimately, leading to a stronger understanding of the subject, which will allow you to more easily recall it on the future and learn more complex topics that build on top of those topics.

Now, it can be helpful to look at solutions after you find your own, so you can see other ways of solving a challenge and help you think how you could approach it in the future. And writing code does rely on looking up references and documentation, which is an important skill to learn as a developer. But the best way to solidify your understanding of the fundamentals is really to keep at something until you got it - there’s no need to rush ahead to the next thing. Or if you need to take a break and want to try learning something else unrelated that’s in the path (like JavaScript vs HTML/CSS) you can always come back, maybe with a better idea of how it can all work.

Best of luck!