What should I do next as a programmer?

Hello World!

So, I’ve completed a couple of courses on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript online. All these courses have felt moderately easy to grasp. And trust me I had a really good time learning all the new technologies and concepts. But just after I completed all those lessons and thought about building a project or even writing some simple programs I found myself completely lost and bewildered.

I went through many videos and discussions about the kind of issues I was having. And guess what- I got more confused. Many say that online courses are too easy and made for absolute beginners which even I have come to accept. They suggested diving deep into coding and learning some advanced concepts. Some say that online coding environments are artificial and don’t give a whole lot of real coding experience and that I should code on my computer rather than some flimsy online text editor.

So I thought- okay, I’ve just scratched the surface now and need to go a long way. So I got this book **Eloquent JavaScript** which was highly recommended by the developer community. I went through the lessons and tried to understand each and every concept which I must say is very nicely put together. I completed the second chapter and went straight to the coding sandbox provided on https://eloquentjavascript.net/. And…you guessed it- I failed miserably. I couldn’t figure out a working solution to the very first problem let alone an efficient one. I gave up and looked at the solution which was pretty simple. It hit me really hard.

Now I am not all hopeless and despaired. I still have the same urge and eagerness to learn to code that I began with. I still want to develop some real skills and possibly land a nice job. But I’m just lost. I can’t for the life of me find the reasons I’m unable to connect the dots, correlate the concepts and see the big picture. I just need to know where I might be going wrong in this whole learning process. What do you suggest?

Thank you.

This is quite common, and you seem to have a good view on the matter. A codecademy course doesn’t prepare you for a job, being told what to do (codecademy and some other online resources) and doing it yourself are two very different things.

But don’t despair, you just need a next logic step. I suggest something like codewars or codinggame. These give you challenges, from simple to increasingly difficult. And try not to peak at the solution :wink:

or start by making a very simple website (just a header, main content and a footer or something), slowly add some JS (a simple button which displays a alert message for example), and build it from there

you just need to find the right next medium to help you further, persistence and patience. Then you will get there.

or try a small project from udemy, and just fiddle with it. Trail and error can be meaningful.


Thank you for such an amazing answer.

I am already planning to work on some small static web-page projects to get myself started. But do you have some advice on developing problem solving and programming skills. I am for the most part unable to think of a working solution to a given problem. I know all the basics (probably) but can’t figure out how to put it together in order to build an elegant or just a functional program. Any resource for that particular thing will be great.

something like codewars or similar:


or like i said, udemy can also be good (video tutorials).

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I am for the most part unable to think of a working solution

Actually that’s something I have a hard time believing, because most of the time every-day logic applies. What you might be doing is trying to reason about code before having even figured out what you want the code to do. Figure out what actions should happen first, write it down in plain english if you so want, then start implementing that one small piece at a time until it’s all there.

For problem solving practice I highly recommend adventofcode.com - curated problems in the form of advent calendars (1 problem per day) since 2015 (going again this year!) The two first weeks or so don’t require any special knowledge, it’s more about being willing to dig into it.

exercism.io doesn’t have quite as good of a problem set but lets you ask questions and get feedback on what you wrote which can be very good for improving yourself.


Thank you.

This sounds good. I’ll try and implement these tips. Let’s see where things go.

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