What are your biggest struggles while you are learning to code?

Two of the moderators on this forum are Asperger (now defunct term, but nonetheless). Guess which two. (Hint, I’m one of them.)

We learn and we don’t learn. We’re smart and we do stupid things. One supposes the reason they took ‘Aspergers’ off the list (more merged it) is because it covers too wide a spectrum when the larger population is brought into the study. Opinions vary.

We all face roadblocks. Some of us face an avalanche that wasn’t there the day before. Just remember, it’s, spacetime, not space and time. Let your brain do some or most of the work and get in plenty of walks and other activity.

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You’re going to hit walls, occasionally. I was having an awful time with the “cheatsheet” project in the HTML//CSS section. Took me three days to complete what should have been a two-hour project but because I struggled with it so much, I really learned the material and I was happy with the result.

If coding was easy, EVERYONE would do it. That said, I think for most of us, if you really, really, really want to learn, you stick with it, and it eventually gets easier. Don’t worry how long something takes you - you may struggle with one bit, and then sail through another bit where everyone else around you is wailing and gnashing their teeth!

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My biggest struggle is understanding and memorizing what I read. Best way to learn for me is to follow an example, which is something I always need to try and chop off as I’m progressing further in to the courses to avoid the issue of being completely lost with the training projects.

Motivation is a big factor as well as maintaining it. I’m constantly trying to schedule my life and fitting the learning in my daily regime is always at the top of the list. However, whenever I find myself falling behind my schedule or having to skip a day, it usually takes few weeks to sort of “recover” from that.

Any tips for keeping up with the motivation and perhaps methods to enhance learning would be greatly appreciated! :sweat_smile:

Hey,

Thanks for sharing! The art of learning to learn is strengthened by sharing observations about struggles. Even people who are already “good” at learning continue refine the struggles in their learning technique.

Motivation and technique are indeed the bread and butter of learning in my view! I’ll share some of my ideas

Smaller is better I think when I was younger, even when I loved learning something, I would “overdo it” and try to fit too much in at once. Now I find no matter how much I want to keep studying, taking even a 20-30 second break every 10 minutes keeps me from burning out. It also helps me realize if my mind is getting stuck on something silly. A 5-minute break every hour is also highly recommended, a twenty minute every 3hrs, etc (you can fine tune this as you try different ratios).

Start with what you care about It’s usually easier to study things that are engaging. Studying things that are “heavy” will take more energy. I’ll usually split my study sessions into 20 minutes of something I care about, 20 minutes of something dull, and back. (The times actually vary but 20 minutes is a good chunk often)

Celebrate the small victories It’s easy to see so many other talented people and be overwhelmed by how fast they seem to progress… Until one realizes, they all had to do it slow at one point, and we all get there at different points. Great knowledge is built from the collection of small fundamental understandings tied together. So that’s why every time I pick up even a fraction of something new, I try to think: this is going to add up!

Be around people and places that inspire you and bring out better things in you It doesn’t have to be in the same discipline of study, or about study at all. But people that have attributes that make you feel more empowered really do make a difference. Even watching a video of someone doing something that sparks something positive is a way to feed your motivation. Moreover, if you have a flow of conversations happening with these type of people, they can often make you realize you already have most of the tools you need to tackle your struggles.

Take notes, but they don’t have to be on paper Good note taking is essential to getting the most out of your study. Sometimes it’s good to take notes while studying, sometimes it’s good after. I find that audio memos help me tremendously, and for certain things even video notes help me also. “Talking” a problem out while drawing it on paper is another good thing to try if you haven’t. Consider this article about benefits of talking out loud: (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/smarter-living/benefits-of-talking-to-yourself-self-talk.html)

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Thank you!

A lot of great tips to begin with. I can see how I’ve gone wrong in few of them already, which makes me think, I should probably ease off a little bit.

I find myself starting up new projects after I’ve barely learned the fundamentals of a language, which always ends up in frustration and eventually scrapping the whole thing, after it has stressed me out for half a year of course. This might also be the biggest reason I’ve yet to complete a course in all it’s entirety. Around 25-35% in to the course I usually begin to feel confident enough to start planning and creating something way too big.

Having inspiring people around is very important to me. I’m actually working full-time as a Web Developer, but my buddies at work aren’t usually that interested in learning new technologies - which in the end means that they fail to inspire me. That’s why I posted on Reddit a few weeks back and got few people to join my Discord channel, to sort of study together and help each another.

Baby steps, but slowly getting there! Sixth day on this 30-Day Challenge, still going in strong!

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Like many others, I am making a pretty significant shift in my career and I have to constantly remind myself:

-Failure is okay.
-Brilliance in the Basics is a key to success in anything.
-It also means that doing the little things right often leads to doing big things right.

With that said, as I learn Python I feel like I have to really go back and refine and understand some of the concepts being taught, especially since I have not practiced math and logic in many years. I am trying to use the Pomodoro study technique to stay as focused as possible. I feel like I am struggling to come up with a project to help generate more passion and buy-in though.

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-Failure is okay.
-Brilliance in the Basics is a key to success in anything.
-It also means that doing the little things right often leads to doing big things right.

Yes!! You’re on the moneyyy.

I’d check out some subreddits of python and other languages so you can see the cool things people start making after only months of studying. It can give you an idea as to how useful and efficient of a tool a programming language can be!

It’s so important to have those little things that inspire passion… they don’t have to come from programming, it can be anything that catalyzes you to be what you want to be.

After many years of working this forum one of the most common foibles I see is haste and impatience. Too many learners bite off more than they can chew and want to soar before they have wings so fall flat on their face. There is so much evidence of this it can be found on any given day, learners taking on concepts they have neither an understanding of nor the necessary background preparation. Why they insist on jumping in the deep end rather than treading water or learning the basic strokes is a mystery, but speaks of their ambition. They struggle with it, rather than cool their jets and hammer out the rudiments.

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I have definitely fallen into that category but I’ve learned to relax and take a break. Pomodoro technique helped a lot but now I just know intuitively when to take a break for 5.

Interestingly, I’ve realised that I can absorb reading information, first time, if I read it aloud! Obviously this can’t be done in libraries but that has been an odd discovery for me.

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Figuring out the WHY of things and not just the HOW. Like if you tell me to create a for loop I can, but when it comes to explaining why that for loop works is a struggle! Also the fear of forgetting syntax of languages, as I’m learning Python and JavaScript at the moment.

@mullilingus Yes! Earlier in this post I put a link of a NYT article talking about the benefits of talking out loud.

I’ve been doing that for years in my professional career and it works wonders. Even audio memos work in different ways I find, so sometimes I’ll record a few things to listen back to when I’m at the gym.

Sometimes my family has thought of me as crazy (jokingly) for doing so, but the results speak for themselves!

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That’s great! When I’m sitting in silence trying to concentrate that’s when my mind goes into overdrive and it can take me 3 or 4 reads of one paragraph to understand it. But when I read it aloud all that noise in the mind dissipates. I hope my brain doesn’t develop a tolerance for it.

I, too, tried to learn Python and JS together and was strongly advised by 100% of people I talked to to just focus on one language. So I chose JS.
Everyone has said that learning one language really well will mean other languages will be much, much easier to grasp.

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I can second this (from having had to learn multiple languages). Once you know one really well, it’s easy to pick up a second one. Trying to balance two is usually trickier especially if they are your first two.

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Wow! Thanks for this input. Honestly I was feeling quite burnt out lately too. Taking more breaks than usual on my coding. Both are fun languages, I guess I’m doing more with JavaScript at the moment, and leaning towards focusing only on JS, but I’m scared I’ll forget all the Python I’ve learned so far. Any tips?

You won’t forget, if anything you’ll know more. A lot of the core concepts cross-over. Syntax is 100 times easier in python.

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My biggest struggle which may seem so simple is memorizing the elements with the attributes. Forgetting one thing can ruin the entire thing for me. My hope is within 30 days to be able to complete a simplistic looking web page or template.

Put simply, I’m prone to negative self-talk and constant second-guessing. Not the most helpful of personality traits, I know, but learning to code “forces” me to get over myself in ways I never knew possible. Yes, it can be a real pain when I don’t get the hang of something the first time around (or the fifth), but that’s how you learn. Only took me my whole life to fully appreciate that - warts and all. Better late than never, I guess. :grinning:

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I am very Bad In Spelling and Hence, I need to face a lot of spelling errors while writing small piece of code.

mine is to remember what i learned