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General Discussion

Alcibiades Montas
Alcibiades Montas
5,974 Points

How do you guys remember everything?

In the last month or so I have gotten pretty OK with HTML and CSS. However, at least specifically for CSS, I can't seem to remember everything and have to reference things. I guess perhaps this may limit my codes when I only use those features which I remember.

Do you guys have reference books/sheets to refer to every property?

11 Answers

I'm still a beginner at Web Development so I might not be the best person to answer this but it's all about repetition for me. Watching tutorials and trying to remember everything doesn't seem effective for myself. I think diving into projects and using tutorials as a reference has been a lot more productive when retaining info. Also, when I learn new code, I type what I learn in there and review it the next day. Good luck!

It might help not to use a regular text editor, and go with a development environment that has "intellisense", "code-hinting", or "code assist"... so as you start typing, keywords and properies "autocomplete"... such as Eclipse, Visual Studio (typically for .Net), but with the VS.php plug in has php intellisense... Notepad++ also has great code hinting for various languages (and an easy plug-in manager)...

I understand the appeal of open-source and freeware, but sometimes you can increase productivity by spending a little coin... I could code en entire site with notepad, nano or vi... do I want to? The answer is a resounding "NO"

I noticed that the Graphics sections of Treehouse focuced on Photoshop (payware) with no mention of "Gimp" (freeware)... They'll do the same job (mostly), but in my opinion PhotoShop is a superior product, however it will cost you hundreds of dollars... Just like there are any number of Vector graphics darwing programs out there, but Illustrator is really where it's at.

even if you use the free version of Visual Studio "Express", you can include the .vsdoc file for jQuery (available for download with the jQuery library) and have complete intellisense for jQuery... every method, property, etc... It make coding your JS a ton easier... I've been developing websites since 1996, and I don't use tools like that for intellisense so much anymore as I do for saving keystrokes.... VS.php is an awesome extension for Visual Studio and spawns apache for the debugging server (which leads me to another point),,, being able to put breakpoints in both your server and client-side code to check variable values etc without having to echo or Console write everything)... I use 3 IDEs for the most part... Visual Studio, Eclipse and XCode (depending on what I'm building)... with those tools and various plugins, you can code in nearly every language you'll need to

John Locke
John Locke
15,479 Points

@alcibiades Part of it is just repetition, using things over and over until you remember it, just like anything else in this world.

The other part is that you know how to look up something if you don't know it, which happens way more than you probably realize.

I agree with @John Locke that it comes with repetition. It'll come with time, but seeing, and being able to scroll through, and mouse-over (for tool-tips) all of the available objects, properties and methods that filter as you type doesn't hurt either :)

Search Engines will be your second best friend in development... you may find examples or tutorials for specific things on W3C, Stackoverflow, or any number of other sites, but start with a search engine so you can see a variety of sources at once.

make sure that have analyzing time... maybe an hour in a week. just go to good sites(!) and analyze them by looking at sources (for HTML, CSS, js).

Personalize a Ready Theme so much that the owner of file couldn't recognize it

use your imagination to do awesome things to improve your abilities... (One of my friends uses Microsoft Word as a Photo Making Tool... [of course for fun! ] )

and don't waste your time ... Web is full of different things, if you don't focus, you'll loose a lot of time!

James Barnett
James Barnett
39,199 Points

Alcibiades Montas - I often can't remember the exact syntax of a CSS property, that's why I keep a CSS quick reference in my bookmark bar for handy reference.

However as time goes on, I seem to be using it less and less the more CSS I've written.

some editors have recommenders that are like autocomplete in google . or you can download a plugin if u want . I will agree with comments above that repetition does help recall a lot . i will be very pleased if there is a place where beginners like us can do projects together in a collaborative fashion because in my personal experience i really remember more when i co experience a task with a group. but that again its just my perspective. I lost lot of time initially just to do simple tasks by going over to sites like stackoverflow . some of basic concepts are given there in a very confusing way . and btw knowing foundation concepts inside out helps a ton . .

6 simple words.

Get your hands on the keyboard.

It's the only way to learn this kind of stuff, and that's the key. You do not want to memorize, you want to learn. It's a fine line.

Ben Jakuben
Ben Jakuben
Treehouse Teacher

The real trick is to remember what's possible and how to reference it. If you get good at that then, as everyone else has mentioned, repetition will burn it into memory.

Thanks Gordon Jiroux for that Notepad++ autocomplete tip. I've missed that IDE feature!

As for the OPs question: I whipped through the beginning stuff--html and what not without much concern about remembering it. Probably because it was all review for me. When I got to the new-to-me CSS deep dive stuff by Guil--okay now new things to learn. This is my recipe:

  1. watch the entire video one time through without pausing or rewinding (unless there's a loud noise or something and you missed a word or two).

  2. Download the source code for the video, open all html/css in tabs, and work through every line of code mentally. For the code you recognize but don't 100% understand, review your notes.

  3. Watch the video a second time. This time pausing and taking notes as content is taught. Pause and experiment in your text editor as it is taught. Rewind as many times as necessary until the video (and your notes) are complete.

  4. Take the code challenge.