Losing Motivation

Hi can someone give me some tips on how I can not lose my motivation to learn programming. Many times I set out to learn something and I don’t succeed or if for example I start learning python for machine learning and Ai, but after a while I want to learn C # to make games.

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You bring up 2 very good points, and these can be applied in other topics of learning, not just programming!

The 2 big things you mentions are motivation and success.

In terms of motivation, I feel it’s very important to stay in-tune with how you are engaging with material.
You should consider:

  • the medium (hands-on, video, book, audio, mental, combination)
  • the duration (20 minute sesssions? 1 hour? 2 hours?)
  • the consistency (every day? every other day?)
  • connection to the material (do you connect with the importance of why you’re learning this specific thing at this specific time? do you connect with the person that is teaching the material? etc.)

Personally, I find it important to play around with variations on these ideas. But I find most important to feel connected to whatever I’m studying. If it’s a fundamental, I want to know how that could be applied in the future (even if I’m not the one applying it). If I’m learning new terms, I want to know where those words came from.

For example in machine learning there’s a concept called annealing that’s inspired from metal work. When I run into a word like that, I stop and learn about the background. In turn this aids my understanding of the motivation of the new concept I’m learning. Here’s a video on annealing that I watched while learning about it, it’s pretty cool, and now I won’t forget what it is!

The other big idea you touch on is success.
This is very subjective but I really think in an endeavour like learning there’s a lot of value in the small steps achieved in a single day. To learn one thing or to review one thing in a day in a rewarding manner is a small victory. Then, with discipline over years there is some sort of tangible result that can be really felt.
To measure success in terms of the final product implies that one is already adept at creating that product (and in that case, it can be a fair marker). But at the learning stage I think success has a lot of little markers. Did you find a new inspiration today? Did you keep a daily streak of study? Did you find a new resource? Did you review material? To me all of these are successes.

Don’t lose spirit!


Thanks i will try apply these things


Hang in there thealienn, try to push through this feeling if you can.

I’m a “web developer” for a marketing agency and I use that term loosely because I know probably 3% JavaScript as a “front end developer”. It was only up until just this year I decided to push myself to learn JS on Codecademy. I’m highly proficient in HTML/CSS and Wordpress theme building, and got enough JQuery to get me by this whole time, but time’s have changed. The web is changing. Libraries like React are so popular.

I feel like I’ve done a disservice to the company that hired me to begin with. I lack motivation to learn, but I am pushing through this feeling and spending time on these courses.

In the end I have a feeling I will be rewarded with self satisfaction knowing I got through them, and also hopefully with new knowledge that I’ve never thought I’d gain. Push through this lack of motivation, and you will too!

On a side note, don’t blow through the courses though, soak it all in.

Just my 2 cents.


I think the hardest part of finding and maintaining motivation is the conceptualization of the end goal. I’ve skirted around the edges of programming in hobby and career over the past 25 years, and I’ve learned with this site for quite a few months now. I still feel ignorant of what working as a programmer would actually be like. The biggest aspect I have trouble visualizing would be working with many people on a large project. I enjoy learning programming, but the goal is to get paid for something I enjoy doing. With a side goal of working with people whose thought processes are closer to mine than those I’ve run into in the CNC programming world. (CNC programmer is such a misnomer…)


Derived from the punch-card era, perhaps?

You used to use G code to directly tell the computer what to do. Years ago I worked with my father’s 3 axis cnc mill that used it. It’s still pretty simple so long as you don’t need to do circles and arcs, but is programming. That evolved to a GUI which mostly removed the real coding from the equation. Most of my career was spent running tool grinding machines that are very specialized. The program is technically provided, so what I’m doing is calling functions with a long list of parameters. The machine still runs the old code, but the GUI is generating it based on the arguments. Some machine maintenance involved adjusting variables manually, mostly if there was a crash.
I’m not sure how the punch cards were formatted, I never got to play with one of those.

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If memory serves, the first CNC machine I ever saw was run with punch cards. That was in the seventies. More than that I have no idea. Nice to hear from someone who has hands on experience.

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Hi thealienn,

I can’t speak as a professional (yet, lol), but as someone who has experienced plenty of burnout in this area as I work through grad school and job interviewing.
One of the biggest mistakes I made was piling too much onto my plate, try to narrow down what ONE goal is you could work on for now. One language, perhaps, or a project you want to complete within a timeframe.

Another thing you could try is structuring your study or practise time a bit more, I have trouble focusing from exhaustion (long hours at work, school, etc!) and I found the Pomodoro Timer method is super useful to stay focused and not get distracted easily. Maybe just increasing your focus a little bit that way can help with losing motivation over all. :smiley:

Hope something like this helps! :apple: