Stop getting stuck on the little things

I have now taught well over 350,000 people how to code in my teaching career. That's no small number to blink an eye at.

And over the years, I see a lot of different problems arise such as:

  • Impostor syndrome stopping people from applying for jobs
  • Not learning key coding concepts until their editor is perfect
  • Giving up because a project was "too hard"
  • Having no idea where to start, so they never start learning to code

There's a lot of reasons people get stuck on things. Some have valid reasons, some do not.

Today I want to talk about getting stuck on the small things.

If it's not coding related, move passed it!

Lots (and I mean LOTS) of people will get stuck on small things and never move passed it.

One example is the ability to write nice clean code. Yes, this is very important, but while you're learning to code you do not need to care about perfect code cleanliness. I don't care which best selling teacher on Udemy tells you code quality matters when you're just starting, it simply does not matter.

Over time your code quality will get better and better, and eventually you'll end up using a code formatter like Prettier or Black to fix all the code for you anyway.

Another example is your text editor. People see my text editor and think, "I need mine to be just like Kalob's". But that's simply not true. If you want, feel free to steal the things I use to make my VS Code look and act cool, but if you absolutely cannot get it to work within 15 minutes, just move on. It's highly likely that at some point in your future you'll change your editor settings, features and extensions anyway.

Remember: if it's not coding related, don't get stuck on it. Just move on.

Perfectionism is your enemy

Too many junior developers get stuck on making things perfect. But this is a double edged sword. You can't write perfect code as a junior dev, you just don't know all the things yet. And trying to write perfect code is a bad use of your learning time.

Once you get into a team, or find a job as a web developer, you'll learn how more senior developers write code and you'll be able to learn from them. For now, your time is best used learning core programming concepts and core web development concepts like network requests and "functions".