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Learning JavaScript is HARD!

xoshly profile image Ashley Randall ・2 min read

When I first started to teach myself JavaScript, it was truly a breaking point for me. I cried, I whined and gave up a thousand times. Only to pick it back up every time.

I used/ currently reviewing the entire course of JavaScript on FreeCodeCamp and I think that it is one of the toughest self-learning course out there. The challenges are just that... challenging and very intimidating. I stopped following FCC's course because I thought that it was too hard so I switched to other platforms (CodeCademy, W3 Schools, YouTube, etc.) to find something that was... easier.

But by switching from one platform to another only confused the crap out of me. And I found myself going back to FCC over and over again until I finally finished the certification.

Here is where I (bleeped) up. Whenever I found myself in a pickle on the challenges, I would just get the answer from the forum and apply it to the problem and move on to the next. I didn't learn a damn thing LOL.

So here are my tips on learning JavaScript:

1) Take your time. Don't rush the learning process.
2) Always jot down notes. Don't you ever in your precious life copy and paste your notes. Trust me.
3) Always check what you are doing by testing everything out. Utilize console.log() to make sure that you are always on the right track.
4) Play around with different inputs to see the outputs. This is what I like to call: Cause and Effect Game. Change the values around to see what the outcome will be. Change the increments into decrements and see what happens.
5) Don't be afraid to mess up. It's gonna happen. You can't be perfect all of the damn time. LOL. Learn from it and keep it moving.

I think that these steps can be applied to any language that you are learning. Just remember, YOU GOT THIS!!! :)

Discussion (23)

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bugmagnet profile image
Bruce Axtens

I started learning JavaScript in 2011. I came to if after a dogpile of other languages. It's like C and it's not. It's like Perl and it's not. I'm still learning it and it's still generating things to learn because the spec is developing. Once you learn COBOL, you've learnt COBOL. Once you learn JavaScript, another ES comes out and you've got to learn something else.

All your advice is good. Your point 5 is probably my point 1. My first major JavaScript stuff-up caused the company to lose a client.

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Ashley Randall Author

Lord! JS is forever evolving. Once you are good with one way, they come out with something else and I’m like..... πŸ˜‘. It makes me wonder how ES7 is gonna be!
I hate that the company lost a client, but I bet that you learned from that mistake. I’m sure that it happens to the best of us. πŸ˜ƒ

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Michael Lee πŸ•

Thanks for sharing your experience @xoshly and I'm glad you kept at it. I really like that you're admitting JS is hard to pick up and sharing your tips on how to get through the tough moments in learning it.

Curious, what was the motivation to keep coming back?

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Ashley Randall Author

Hey Michael, I think that the biggest motivation on not giving up is the love I have for developing. I knew that it was a language I needed to learn for my career and a language I wanted to learn to make my projects better. Thank you for asking. The satisfaction of FINALLY understanding JS is so rewarding.

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Michael Lee πŸ•

That is awesome!!! I'm so glad to hear how you persevered and that you're finally at a place where it is rewarding for you.

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raddevus

I agree. I've been developing software for over 25 years and I remember when JS released in Netscape Navigator. JavaScript has a long history (and things have changed a lot) and the language is really large.

I can never remember the quirky details, but I learn best when I write an entire project in the target language. I just did that when I wrote my emojiWriter app. If you get a chance, check out my article here at dev.to. It's all HTML5 / JavaScript.

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Ashley Randall Author

Hey raddevus! I can agree that the language is huge! It’s always different ways to solve a problem. Which is a good and bad thing for me because I’m not that flexible as of yet. But, I’m getting there. I sure will check out your article! Thanks for the plug in! πŸ˜€

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Ruben Kharel

For me, it was rather confusing than hard. I was from a python background, I understood the fundamental of programming. But when I switched to javascript, I got very confused because of the way javascript works. It was hard to grasp what event loop is at the beginning, then the callback was confusing later on I found promise and async-await then everything got smooth.

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Ashley Randall Author

I think that confusing is the BEST word to describe it. Once you got the hang of one concept, it’s another concept that totally throws you for a loop lol.

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Patrick Charles-Lundaahl

JS is definitely a weird beast. I would be curious, though: have you programmed, or is JS your first programming language?

Learning your first language is always going to be harder. You have nothing to compare it to, and you're learning complex computer science topics at the same time as unfamiliar syntax.

Anyway, point being: be kind to yourself, and give yourself the time you need to really understand things. Good luck on the rest of your journey.

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Ashley Randall Author

Hey Patrick! JS is my first programming language. And yesss, it is hard because I came from flowers and roses (HTML and CSS). And you are absolutely right, I had nothing to compare it to and that really irked my brain. But now that I am programming with JS, I am assuming that when I step into Python and other languages, the experience will be relative. :)
Thank you for your kind words.

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Valeria

I got absolutely different impression from FreeCodeCamp when I was switching to full stack JS. It was fun to learn and fill portfolio at the same time:-)

But that's me. I really like JavaScript and I wonder maybe there's a language that you'll find just as fitting for yourself.

What was the toughest part for you?

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Ashley Randall Author

Hey Valeria, I think the hardest part was trying to make the concept make sense in my mind. Being my first language, coming from html and css, I was like huh!? LOL! But now that I am reviewing the course, I am falling in love it with.

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Kareemah Ajina

πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚,I am currently learning JavaScript through the freecode camp course and I was slowly falling into the trap of always checking the answers.Thanks for the warning!πŸ˜‚

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Ashley Randall Author

Man, it was sooooo addicting! I knew that it was toxic and still fell into the trap! Get out of it, my friend πŸ˜…πŸ˜‚

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Juan F Gonzalez

You gotta love JS. One of the best mentally stimulating things for me lol

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Ashley Randall Author

I am starting to appreciate it more now. But before, I cursed it so many times lol.

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Dawid

Thanks, mate! :)

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Ashley Randall Author

Anytime Dawid! πŸ˜ƒ

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Nazanin Ashrafi

Thanks for the useful tips 🌹

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Ashley Randall Author

Anytime Nazanin, it has helped me a lot!

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BeginnerCoder17

GOD DAMN JS!

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Ashley Randall Author

LOL YEEESSSSSSS!!!! My exact words before! πŸ˜‚