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CSS

Ephraim Smith
Ephraim Smith
11,930 Points

Additional practice struggles..

I've created additional practice "projects" on the side to help reinforce the principles I'm learning in the FED track. Right now I'm struggling to horizontally align my header and nav links with my logo. If someone's willing to offer suggestions, I can provide the html/css. Thanks in advance. -E

4 Answers

David McNeill
David McNeill
44,425 Points

Hey man,

No worries! Glad to offer advice. I can absolutely understand the problems you're having because I was there myself. The first thing I'll say is, give yourself a break. Learning this stuff is hard!. It will take time and a few 'eureka' moments before things start to fall into place, so just try to be patient. The one thing I'll say about Treehouse is that it does feel like you're making constant progress without really getting anywhere. Try to ignore the claims they make like "Become a developer in 12 months", it's just marketing stuff. Everyone is different. You'll get there in your own time if you stick at it.

I started on Treehouse almost 3 years ago and spent time on it every day. I did all of the HTML, CSS and JavaScript courses but I felt very much like you, I couldn't find practical applications for it all beyond the tutorial projects. My turning point came when I forced myself to offer to build some simple, static websites for a couple of friends of mine who were starting some small business projects at the time. I knew it would be hard, but the incentive to put the skills into practice without letting them down was the thing that made it all click together for me! I built 3 websites in the end, and within another 4 months I made a portfolio and got my first full-time role as a front-end developer. That's when the fun really starts! Having designers throwing designs at you to build every day just accelerates your experience and skill with HTML and CSS.

So I guess just stick at it, and try to think of some mini-projects you'd like to try and build. Just static websites, with some images and text, some social links etc. Use one of your hobbies or interests as an influence. No-one ever needs to see them! But it's even better if you can do what I did and offer to make something for someone else, maybe a friend who's a photographer or musician or something. That way, you'll have something to work toward and someone who's expecting an end result from you.

Oh and one other thing, relating to what I said in my first message: learn the basics first, regardless of how easy or simple new tools seem to be e.g. learn to write vanilla CSS before you start looking at Sass/LESS that offer shortcuts and handy features. And avoid frameworks like Bootstrap or Foundation if you can, they just give you an excuse to ignore everything that's going on under the hood. It's important that you understand that fundamental stuff first!

Anyways, gotta go, work calls.

Keep at it dude, David

Ephraim Smith
Ephraim Smith
11,930 Points

David,

Just what I needed. Awesome response and even more appreciated. Would love to pick your brain sometime.

Peace, Eph

Kevin D
Kevin D
8,621 Points

Flexbox is really useful to use for positioning elements in CSS :)

https://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/a-guide-to-flexbox/

Ephraim Smith
Ephraim Smith
11,930 Points

Thanks KD. Nav headers are something almost every page needs. Seems like the flexbox should be much earlier in the curriculum.

David McNeill
David McNeill
44,425 Points

Not necessarily though...

Flexbox is a relatively new technology and has only just reached a point where most browsers support it. When it comes to CSS, I believe it's much more useful to learn the more basic, widely-adopted methods of layouts first, then look at Flexbox later. Flexbox makes things easier, yes, but it's important to understand why it's easier!

Ephraim Smith
Ephraim Smith
11,930 Points

David,

Hey man, thanks for the reply and I agree 100%. All about the baby steps. I'm just horrible at articulating. What I'm struggling with right now is that my practical application skills are far behind that of my progression in the track. I'm 6 weeks into the FED track and still struggling to find a learning method that solidifies the material as I go.

I'm attempting to create "practice" projects to apply what I'm learning, but it often seems starting from the beginning is necessary. Obviously you've spent a lot of time with Treehouse and their process. Any advice you can offer up for retaining material?

Thanks D, E