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Learning cadence

One of the biggest traps I see early learners fall into is trying to build something too big, too soon.

They’ll often jump writing into building an app, get stuck, not know where to ask questions of even what questions to ask to get unstuck, and then quit and never come back.

Even simplish seeming projects like the dreaded “build a calculator app” are deceivingly difficult when you’re just starting out.

I generally recommend students start with something really, really simple, like hiding text when a button is clicked, and then showing it again. Then you layer in some more functionality, like having two different show/hide components on the page.

Then you add even more functionality, gradually building your skills. This is exactly how my free Learn JavaScript course is setup.

The goal isn’t to never get stuck. It’s to get just stuck enough.

As a learner, you don’t find yourself unable to move forward or get unblocked. But without any challenge—if you never get stuck—learning gets boring, and you never learn the most essential skill for a programmer: how to work through problems.