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Normal to feel a bit overwhelmed by all the syntax at first?

Hey, everyone! (TL;DR at the bottom for those of you who are either lazy or have better things to do with their time!)

I recently finished the HTML/CSS course on CodeAcademy, and was very confident in the early stages - Man, this is so much fun! I felt certain I could remember all the rules of syntax, and all the possibilities. I felt certain I could remember how things are put together, how to position elements on a page, etc.

Unfortunately, as the course went on, I became more and more lost. I eventually did finish it, and felt I retained an OK amount of it, but realized I would likely need to go through the entire course again at a later date if I ever wanted to do anything with it - there's no way I could move on to Javascript, jQuery, etc. without a full mastery of the basic syntax of CSS and HTML.

Deciding that I'd rather focus on iOS development first, I began searching for a new, better website (I didn't care for the way CodeAcademy taught its information) to learn from. So here I am, at TreeHouse! So far, I'm taking the Swift 2.0 course. Pasan is an excellent teacher, and I honestly love the video style of teaching, with frequent quizzes and code challenges to help me retain the information.

Despite TreeHouse's (And likely Pasan himself) best efforts, I still feel a bit overwhelmed. Despite how much fun I'm having, and how badly I want to become an iOS entrepreneur, I still worry that perhaps coding isn't for me due to this feeling. Is this normal?

Having said that, Pasan's (perhaps this is just TreeHouse policy) insistence that we students keep careful notes of EVERYTHING in our playground has helped me immensely. I cannot describe how useful it is to be able to go back and refer to earlier playground pages for information. This is something CodeAcademy does not do, and it's a huge issue that I hope they rectify in the future.

Sorry for the long topic! TL;DR: Is it normal to feel overwhelmed as I do right now? Hope I'm not alone!

P.S. I feel this website has incredibly strong value, and I fully intend to upgrade when my 7-day trial runs out!

Hi Cohen,

It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed. The moments of despair are part of the game :) I think that people underestimate the effort involved to learn coding / programming. For me it has taken so much effort, repetition, blood, sweat and tears to get to realization that after all the hard work I'm still a total newbie :)

But if you keep practicing you will learn. And the feeling of accomplishing things that were totally out of reach before is so much rewarding. Also, learning gets easier after you know the basics. As for now enjoy the discomfort and DO NOT GIVE UP!

Hope this helps and happy coding!

Thanks! :) I'll take your advice, it's good to know I'm not alone.

1 Answer

Michael Reining
Michael Reining
10,101 Points

Hi Cohen,

Your feelings are completely normal. It is like learning a foreign language especially if you have no prior coding experience (I did not).

What helps is practice. There is no shortcut except to start writing more code. What helped me was the resources on this site plus the book on Swift by Apple and then lots of practice.

I hope that helps,


PS: If you found the above helpful, be sure to check out my app which breaks code challenges down and really explains things so you can learn faster.

Code! Learn how to program with Swift


PPS: I could not have developed the above app without going through the awesome resources on Team Treehouse. Stick with it. It is so worth it!