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General Discussion

Matthew Whittington
Matthew Whittington
10,308 Points

I do well in the tests and quiz's however with writing my own code or websites my mind goes blank, what should l i do?

Ive been a member of treehouse for some time and i have been very worried that i am not taking the information in. Its like i have the pieces of a puzzle but not the ability to put the things i have learned here into any kind of practical applications.

3 Answers

Jennifer Nordell
Jennifer Nordell
Treehouse Teacher

I also suffer from this! Good to know that I'm not alone :smiley:

I have, however, recently been making some headway in this department and I can tell you how I'm doing it. Now, the instructors talk a lot about "spaghetti code". But what I have is more akin to "spaghetti ideas".

First, go and get Trello. A basic account is free. And start making some boards with just free-flowing ideas. Then start making small task lists for those ideas. Then start making small reasonable goals. And I mean make them tiny. Pick a color scheme. Design a logo. Add a navigation bar to a page. Add a logo. Start checking them off one by one.

And, if you're feeling really ambitious and want to start making friends with github, then start making repositories and practicing. I've finally come to the realization that if I want my ideas to ever become anything more than a convoluted mess, then I'm going to have to make nice with github.

I don't know if this helps or not, but you aren't alone! :sparkles:

Christopher Gilbert
Christopher Gilbert
6,239 Points

Development and coding is a skill that is developed by practicing over and over. Don't be discouraged that you cannot remember everything you learn in the videos. I often do a section and forget it within a few days if I do not apply it through practice.

I challenge you to build a simple static single page website about a charity you would want to support. While you are building the site keep a checklist so that you can plan your next steps. Don't look at the site as a whole unit you might become overwhelmed instead break it down into pieces and create objectives.

For example. Write down: 'Create a navbar'. Now begin working on the navbar then you might encounter a problem; you can't get the navabr items to align left. That's when you make a note in your planing guide and then begin to look up how to solve the problem you encountered. You can refer to treehouse videos or other 3rd party sources.

I spent a while just watching videos trying to get through tracks and plural sight sections. The problem was that I could never apply it correctly. So I began forcing myself to build webpages and small applications. I plan what I want it to look like and use other websites as inspiration. Then I begin the coding process and take it one piece at a time and keep a markdown sheet to makes notes about problems and future content I want to add. When I get stuck or encounter functionality I am not familiar with, which is all the time, I refer to past treehouse videos that directly relate to what I am stuck on.

Again don't be discouraged failure and struggle are apart of learning.

You're absolutely not alone in this, if you do a little research on "retention" you'll realize that it's a big issue among people who are learning how to code.

Everyone has a different way of dealing with this issue, let me share my way. First, when I'm following a course I tend to take a lot of notes. And I don't focus much on lines of codes that are taught to solve a certain problems, rather I take notes about the concepts and keywords to solutions. As an example, let's talk about some basic wraps & floats in HTML/CSS. I take notes on how these functions can be used and add some self-note keywords for future "googling" for possible problems like "if you have problems with floating items, look into clearfix hacks".

So in a way, I accept and make peace with the fact that I will not remember the lines of codes for specific issues thus I leave myself breadcrumbs that will point me into the right direction when I need them in the future. Same thing goes for projects. Say, you're creating a project for yourself or a client and when you're fully concentrated on it, you will remember and visualize every single detail about it. But once you deliver the project, your brain will get rid of most of the data regarding that project because now it's irrelevant. And that's where comments come in. Again, you make notes about your thinking and the approach you had while you were coding, and if you need to return to the project in the future, hopefully those breadcrumbs that you had left will guide you.

Maybe there are some people out there who are able to fight retention in a different way and are able to remember everything. I'm not one of them so I leverage meta-information. I can recommend this approach.

Matthew Whittington
Matthew Whittington
10,308 Points

I think my issue came when i was trying to make something in c# and i just cannot find out how to do what i want to do and ive hit a wall. (making interactive flow charts and linking the paths together using objects)