Doubting my coding skills

Hi guys,
I’m not sure if this the right place to express my current mood for coding but imma try anyways.
So as the title suggests, I doubt my skills as a student programmer why?
Well when I started to learn to code in school about a year ago I took an average 3-6 hours to solve a weekly python in, as time progress new languages such as C# and HTML, CSS, js was introduced to me and almost a year of coding has elapsed and still my average solve time for various questions spans up to 4 hrs if not an entire day.
Initially, I thought that with practice my solve time will increase eventually and take lesser time, but as things stand now its as if the practice is betraying me and I am feeling frustrated with my skills at the moment.
Does anybody have the same experience as me and could probably provide some advice for me??

I find you need to be logical; check everything even if it appears to be OK or the error can not be there. The old adage “Don’t assume check”. Print all variables and check they contain what you expect. Work in blocks; don’t try and write the whole code in one go; get a block working and move onto the next part.
Read some relevant books; sometimes when you have a problem in the back of your mind you remember something and can look it up and use it.

Sometimes it is good to take a beak; walk away and do something different and an idea can pop into your head. I suppose this is not practical in class or a business.

In the end it may be you do not have the mind set for it and would be better off doing something else.

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If you want to pursue a career in programming and enjoy doing it than I wouldn’t place to much weight on your concerns. A year into the education (university?) is nothing and there is plenty of work available. There are plenty of jobs available in the software industry even for below average engineers. Not that I’m saying you are below average but just to ease your concerns a bit.

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IMHO, if you are learning something new it is reasonable to expect there to be challenges involved that will take some time to solve. A better measure would be how long it takes to solve an old question without looking at how you solved it.


If you are trying to learn multiple languages at the same time it will be harder (in my opinion). There is a lot of different syntax to learn and remember between the languages. To me it would be like trying to learn French, German and Greek at the same time. You are likely to get confused by the grammar and some bits cross over but don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

I tend to be more of a front end developer so my coding skills (strongest to weakest) CSS → HTML → PHP → JS with no C# or Python. Seems to work for me (mostly), but i still get stuck and have to ask for help. It would probably be beneficial to be better at JS as that is front end but we don’t use that much of it so not too much of an issue.

Additionally sometimes, whilst you may not be the best coder you might be able to bring something else to the table. I can often see how something should be done, even if i can’t get it to work. Some coders might be able to get it to work but won’t be able to see how it should be done without being told.

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Wow, thanks guys for your responses man! It enlightens me on what I should do next. Btw, how long did you guys take to feel more confident in your counting and what do you guys watch out when you are practicing your languages?

This could be a bit late and/ or worthless.

People learn things in different ways. The only teachers I had were tutorials and the guys on this forum (these guys are the best).

I had no computer skills and wanted to build a program. I had to learn html, php, and mysql. I was originally thinking it would take me 3 months, but nothing would click. I just couldn’t see how things worked and get the picture in my head. It took 5 years to build that project.

What I’m saying is “don’t give up”. When I first started out I struggled to find a beginners tutorial that would tell me what a text editor was. Many people that think they can teach take things for granted. The things they leave out are possibly the things you need to find for yourself for it to all come together.

I found one of the best ways for me to learn was to get a script and look at how it worked.

We all learn and think different or there wouldn’t be any need for more than one of us. You could turn out to be one of the best coders out there, it just hasn’t clicked for you yet, give it time.

It wasn’t that long ago I couldn’t get my head around css. With the help of the guys here the penny finally dropped.

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Don’t doubt your coding skills. It all about the logic, I think try to use simple logic don’t get tired of thinking and designing coding try to enjoy

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Ponderism for today:

Deliberate Practice:
How expert one becomes at a skill has more to do with how one practices than with merely performing a skill a large number of times.


I’ve been more than 10 years at it and still doubt my abilities many times. Persistence is the key… a lot of the necessary skills will come with years of experience. When you’re debugging something, knowing what is more likely to be the problem takes years of solving problems. One day you’ll think “the problem is most likely to be there” and you’ll be right! But until you get there there is quite a long road. Even then… technology advances so fast no matter how many years of experience you have, you cannot know everything and before you realise the juniors will be telling you how to do your job :slight_smile:
That can be frustrating but it is also very humbling, and challenging. This is the job for people who don’t want to ever stop learning, who like to think a lot before speaking, and who never give up!

All the best in your endeavours!

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Does it mean that by honing a skill it will allow me to achieve greater than to endlessly work on sample code etc??

Is your idea of success building hobby sites as a knowledge source on a forum or earning 200K+ USD?

My interpretation to the ponderism was to encourage thinking and to question everything because things change rapidly. Samples and tutorials copied and pasted are frequently outdated and as far as PHP is concerned then confirmation from the Free PHP Manual is often the place to confirm suspicions.

Earning money is important but more than that I would like to immerse myself in the coding experience and enjoy it as a hobby. For me to enjoy this as a hobby I have to go through a lot of hardship sometimes I just feel lost and doubtful hence this thread is created. Nevertheless, now I know that there are people out there willing to help me I find the motivation to move on and do what I like. Thanks Guysss!!!

Here’s a couple of links with stuff I wish I had seen long before now. I feel both these links give out some very good advice for some-one wanting to learn programming. ) )

For future reference, a space before the URL will prevent “oneboxing”(the page preview).

A post was split to a new topic: Formatting code in forum posts

I feel the same way. I have been designing for a while now, 10+ years. I felt like I was going nowhere, too. I recently moved to Atlanta from Buffalo and found a better job. I taught myself basic html and editing templates in Dreamweaver. I still have a LONG way to go, but I feel that college didn’t teach me that much and technology keeps on changing. Most of the stuff and programs I learned is now obsolete. It’s crazy how time flies by.

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