To be 100% clear, projects are often a great way to learn any coding language. However, problems arise when people attempt certain projects before they know enough of the basics to judge what’s reasonable.
I’m not about to let that happen to you, so here’s what we’ll cover:
- how to avoid the common traps and learn more effectively
- when and how to start doing projects
- how to know which concepts to use once you start doing projects
The Common Phrase that Often Leads to Failure
They’ll try to make the slideshow, and one of two things will usually happen:
It’ll be too hard, and they tell themselves they’ll “come back to it later” — which often means giving up forever.
They’ll succeed in creating the slideshow, but since they had to cover so much material at once, they won’t be able to apply it afterwards. This leads to discouragement, which can mean, once again, giving up forever.
Why does this happen?
The Trap of Too Much, Too Soon
Once they attempt it, they discover it’s harder than they thought. Making a slideshow might involve arrays, functions, loops, animation, timing, event listeners, DOM manipulation and more. This can be an overwhelming number of new concepts for someone who is starting out.
Alternatively, some people will succeed in creating a slideshow, but it’ll be cobbled together with a ton of help from tutorials and relatively little understanding of what’s happening. In those cases, you frequently hear phrases like, “I was able to follow along with the tutorial, but then I couldn’t apply any of it on my own.”
These scenarios happen not just with slideshows but other projects that learners will attempt too soon. For example, a to-do list sounds simple, but that can be a full-stack project if the data is to be saved outside the browser’s local storage or cookies.
Which Projects Often Hinder Learning?
In order to make this discussion more concrete, here are some specific, simple-sounding projects people often attempt too early, and the concepts that are actually involved.
|Quiz||Arrays, objects, functions, forms, event listeners|
|To-do list||Arrays, objects, functions, some form of storage (front-end or back-end), DOM manipulation, event listeners|
What’s the point?
The point of this section is not to scare you off from attempting new things. You can arrive at some of these projects faster than you’d expect as long as you don’t start with them from the beginning.
All you need is a better approach.