The Saddest Thing I Faced In Coding

ansonlowzf profile image Anson Low Z.F ・1 min read

No matter how long time I learned,
No matter how hard I learned,
No matter what I had learned.

I feel like not moving forward~
Like I'm stuck in beginner level for a long time~
I still don't know how to code well.

  • I code slow,
  • Research takes me at least half-day or a few days,
  • Don't know how to write the code without referencing the doc,
  • Some bugs like forever don't know how to settle, end up delete the entire project and start over again,
  • Not sure my code is right or not, it's seen working but the UI seen like something went wrong,

Are you facing the same situation?
What obstacle are you facing?

"Btw, I'm still proud of myself for starting my journey as a self-taught developer."


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This ałl sounds pretty normal to be honest. If you do the same programming tasks over and over again you will become less dependant on using docs, but it takes time.

Testing your application is similarly a skill you develop over time, when you have fixed enough bugs, you will develop a feeling for what and how to test your apps.

The things you are describing are the same for every programmer, but it does get better :)


I've been doing this for 20 months 🤣
I think still not enough, I glad to keep going 😎


I have been doing it for 17 years. I still have to Google things all the time, I still regularly write bugs, and occasionally I will spend an enormous amount of time debugging a very simple defect :)

It's not just that you will get better, you also realize that everyone has the same problems.


I think I will interpret this question a little differently. The saddest experiences I have had are when I worked for an agency with a deadline too tight and a customer who is disappointed and without the resources to change the outcome.

One of the saddest coding days I had was going to work on a Monday to see over 200 freshly-logged bugs by the customer (mind you; this is mostly CSS bugs, so 200 mostly-arbitrary complaints about how it looks after the design was supposed to be finalized). I worked through them one at a time, with again a deadline too tight to actually make a difference.

Perhaps one of my saddest days!


😲 I going to start a freelance web design agency soon. What if I face this kind of customer? After reading your comment, at least I can make myself ready for this type of customer. Thanks for sharing this with me.


Hi Anson! I think the most valuable skill is in knowing your worth and vetting your client -- as well as being financially secure enough to turn down a job, even if it is well paying. Sometimes the emotional cost is too great.

In this case at my agency, we were well aware that we were working with a nightmare client, but we felt financially pressured to take the job.

Great advice, at least I learned before I start the business. Thank you for sharing some tips with me


We all go through these things. Even those around you who seem to be picking it up so much faster will eventually hit a wall and panic will grip them.

Almost two decades later, I still go through it. And don't worry so much about coding slowly. Here's something not nearly enough developers learn soon enough (and not nearly enough employers teach): If you're spending more than 25-35% of your time coding (maybe more for short periods if you're in some super "flow" state), you're probably not writing very good code.


After reading your comment, I think my situation is, in fact, normal in coding. I come from a sales background, that why I feel like not moving forward.


Personally, I've always hated sales (which really sucks when I'm responsible for them running my own company), and after learning the nature of these struggles felt much more at ease in front of a code editor than I ever will trying to sell something.


Edit: Skimmed your post too fast at first and my eyes skipped to the question at the end, but I'll leave this comment anyway, because it's important to know that even when you know and do the right thing, things don't always work out in your favor.

Got fired and replaced with unpaid interns because I stepped on my bosses' toes after they ignored testing to the point of a mission critical bug which could have killed astronauts.

But I got my way and the team I demanded to get testing in place (and was ready to quit then and there if I didn't, rather than face a Congressional inquiry into what could have been an international incident involving NASA loads on Russian Soyuz rockets headed to/from the ISS).

...I just got fired after the testing was in place and they could find an excuse without it being too obvious.


About your problems, I recommend things like clean code, pure functions, OOP, or write tests. Just do small things well. Automate your works properly first.

Another thing is, instead of running your code; debug your code and add breakpoints, instead. Not sure if this can always be done in JavaScript / UI code.

I don't think it even matters that you reference the docs or not.


My guess: You're focussing too much on a top-down learning strategy, but have reached a point where you should take some time and switch to more of a bottom-up aproach at least for a while.


I guess the bottom-up approach you refer to is to start building more things?


More like figuring out the details before trying to build stuff; knowing how the language runs and how certain syntax features translate to behavior depending on their input. This is what ultimately gives one the ability to reason about code without having to run it, which is essential both for debugging and preventing bugs before they even happen.

Thanks for your advice, appreciated.


Wow, thank you for telling me this. This is helpful and positive. I think what I face now is in fact a normal as a coder.

What you said is right, I suddenly think that those Pro piano players need to practice 10 years behind the scene before they host their piano concert.

Good tips 👍


It always feels I know so little, and others know everything..
I can relate to everything, and I feel a lot of confusion as to what should I do.


Especially after see some YouTuber code. Why they so pro, and why I can't be like them. After I watch a video by brad travesy, I just know that they actually spend a lot of times researching, organizing, and coding behind the scene before they record the video.


I am at a point where I do see a few YouTubers doing some practices that are inefficient (/ not recommended by React Team) and ignoring topic like a11y. So I just read the docs and ask in issues or do a frontend masters or egghead course.


10 years into my career, this is still how it is for me.

Another way to think about it, if you are always doing the same thing so much that you don't ever need to research or look at the docs, then you can be replaced by a framework or script. Celebrate solving new problems!

(although I am a bit jealous of people who seem to have the CSS spec memorized).


Can I mark "All of the above."? Been in web development in some shape or form for almost a decade, and feel like this everyday.


Haha, We have to live with those "All of the above" as a coder. I see I see, I still wondering why I feel like not improving after 20 months of code.


I always believe whatever solution I used to implement a feature or fix the issue someone else does this in a better way. Nothing wrong in this accepting this fact. I'll improve myself over a period of time and my solution will become better. But still, the fact remains the same someone can do it better.


I have the same feeling too. Like my code is forever beginner level. 😊 What you said is right, nothing wrong with me as long as the code work.


Just repeat the same code again and again until it becomes predicatable, until you now what every single word is doing, i do this a lot and really help me out!


The most pro code I super familiar is import * as React from "react".

What you say is right, I think I need more practice.