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Why is my code not working?!
We’ve all been there. Picture this: you’re coding away, when you stumble upon a problem. Something in your code is not working. What? What’s going on here? So after some time (or a couple days), you still can’t figure out why the code is not working. What do you do?
Not to worry! There are many great resources you can use to get help. Some may be familiar to you already, others may not. Here are a few resources that I regularly use when in need of help.
This is probably the most used (and most obvious) port of call when finding the solution to a coding problem. However, you would be surprised just how useful Google is in finding solutions to coding problems! Through Google, you are able to sift through a massive collection of resources, from blogs to YouTube videos to StackOverflow solutions to similar, if not the same, problems.
Can’t remember a code syntax? Google it. Don’t know what an error in the console means? Google it. Can’t figure out why something in your code is not working? Chances are, someone else has gone through the same thing or blogged about it. Google it!
There are a number of blogs that have some really great articles that cover a wide range of front-end, back-end and everything in between. Here are some of my favourites:
A community of developers helping each other on their coding problems and sharing their knowledge. Although I am not a StackOverflow member and have not asked questions on there myself, I do use it extensively when looking for solutions to a variety of coding problems.
Among the thousands of stories written by people all over the world on Medium, spanning across a multitude of topics from education, healthcare, economics, religion and politics, there are a number of publications that cover development and tech-related topics. These include:
- Freecodecamp: one of the most popular publications here on Medium for development and tech-related articles. Honestly, I can’t recommend Freecodecamp enough! Not only does Freecodecamp have a EXTENSIVE collection of articles covering a wide range of topics but they also have a full-stack web-development curriculum (for FREE), a YouTube channel with tutorials and talks AND an absolutely amazing podcast. If you haven’t come across Freecodecamp, check it out. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
- Codeburst: Codeburst showcases web-development tutorials, articles from all over the world. You’ll find a number of articles and tutorials published everyday in a number of topics so you’ll be sure to find what you are looking for. (Full disclaimer: I am a writer for Codeburst but nevertheless, it is a great resource !).
Dev.to is another amazing platform for developers looking for help. Not only does the platform have a large collection of articles and tutorials that are development-focused, but it also allows you to seek help from others on the platform by starting a thread outlining the problem you are having. People on the platform are very helpful, supportive and non-judgmental.
The platform allows you to search through the website using tags, which represent the main topics covered in the platform e.g. React. They have also started live streams where experienced developers teach others to code, which allow you not only to learn new things and interact with others watching the live stream but also interact and ask questions to the developer who’s teaching. I’ve been posting on dev.to for the last 9 months or so and I’ve watched this platform grow exponentially and do incredible things in that time. It is an incredible resource for developers of all levels, novice to experienced, and has something to offer for everyone.
Gitter is an open source networking and instant messaging platform that connects developers from all over the world. It has over 1 million members, 300,000+ chatrooms from over 100 countries. You can find a chatroom for all your tech-needs!
Here are a few Gitter chatrooms to get you started:
- GitterHQ/developers- A general chat room for developers.
- Freecodecamp/help — a chatroom to get help in general.
- Freecodecamp/HelpFrontEnd — Need help with your front-end projects? This is the place for you!
- Freecodecamp/Codereview — Need someone to review your code? Get constructive feedback from fellow developers on Algorithm Challenge solutions, Frontend and Backend projects.
Twitter is not just a place to post about what you’ve been up to or to find out about what’s going on in the world. You can also find an awesome community of developers from all over the world, from front-end developers to back-end developers to data scientists, who are open and willing to helping other developers with their coding problems.There’s even some who are open to mentoring other developers who are in need of mentorship and guidance.
A list of developers who are open to questions, giving advice and/or mentorship has been curated and can be found here (Thanks to the Stephanie Hurlburt, developer and founder of Binomial, who asked her followers to help!).
Created by Andy Bell, a frontend developer with nearly 10 years experience, DevPal is a place where you can go to ask your coding questions and get answers from a seasoned developer with experience.
I’ve used DevPal in the past and have had a great experience; Andy was very helpful and provided me with the answers I needed to my questions. The response on the website was swift and the answers detailed. A great resource, particularly for code newbies!
Top comments (31)
MDN is a great alternative to having to parse through specifications and is filled with examples and very detailed info on every function and object out there!
Hey Meghan! Thank you for the recommendation! Completely forgot to add MDN! You're quite right though, it's a wonderful website with some great examples!
I agree - I use MDN all the time!
I find subreddits such as r/webdev ,r/node , r/reactjs, r/learnprogramming are quite useful and helpful when you're stuck. The community is very helpful.
And I'm in node and react discord channels. People in those channels help me a lot when I'm stuck.
Awesome! Thanks for the recommendation Thidasa! :)
I have started using github.com/chubin/cheat.sh ; amazingly helpful.
:OMG! this is really helpful. Thanks for the advice!
No problem. I've added it to my dot files repo :D. No needing to go to Google/SO/etc. Get my answers right on the CLI.
The most useful advice I can give for when you're stuck is to step away from it, and go for a walk.
Sounds trite, but it works incredibly well. Only today I was going round in circles on a problem, and I went out to buy some lunch. I was barely out the door before I'd realised what the problem was and how to fix it.
I absolutely agree with you there Matthew! Sometimes all it takes it stepping away from the problem to gain clarity and find the solution.
Nice list. CodePilot.ai helps developers find solutions to coding problems. CodePilot.ai is free for life if you register before the pricing model changes.
We are on Product Hunt producthunt.com today :) hope you give it a spin and upvote if you like it.
Disclosure - I am the Cofounder
We are now opensourced and MIT licensed :)
If you are on a Mac Dash is a pretty amazing doc search tool. A comparable tool Zeal is available on Linux and Velocity for Windows
DevDocs is a great in browser docs for APIs. Even works offline if you're travelling. I also find katas useful.
No one's added any yet ;), but I posted this a while back
What are your favourite programming katas sites?
There's also some cheat sheets here
What's Your Favourite Cheat Sheets?
Nice! Haven't come across Devdocs before - will check it out. Thank you for the recommendation Nick!
You've got a good list of resources here, Muna! I agree that StackOverflow is good for looking for answers in other people's posts, and no more. I don't post there and intend to keep it that way, but reading other people's posts is often helpful. CSS Tricks, Dev.to and Twitter communities are great. I must check out Codeburst, they sound good!
I'd also add DuckDuckGo - its Instant Answers are excellent for many coding issues, particularly CSS, for example typing in 'css border-radius' will bring up information about the border-radius property. You can get Stack Overflow answers in the search page as well. Oh and, it's privacy focused and has a dark theme!
CodePen has started a nice community for web developers on spectrum.chat as well.
On Twitter where can I found these communities please
Hey Kael! There are so many! A great place to start would be CodeNewbie. They have regular Twitter chats, discussions, and Code check-ins every week with plenty of developers who take part. Another great dev community is The Practical Dev(dev.to's twitter). Similar to CodeNewbie but they also post great articles written by people on dev.to so you're always up-to-date with the latest articles and tutorials. Plus they hold regular discussions about tech-related issues which is a great thing to be a part of and take part in. Freecodecamp is also another great community on Twitter. Another person I would recommend you follow is Stephanie Hurlburt - she is amazing!
#100DaysOfCodeis a good one.
the "list of developers who are open to questions, giving advice and/or mentorship"'s link is gone?
Hey! Thank you for the heads up! I've added the link so it should be working now! :)
You're very welcome! :)
Wow! Great article and list of resources! I'm going to check everyone of them
Thank you Julian, I appreciate your kind words! I'm glad you found the article useful :)
Never heard of DevPal before and it sounds super helpful. Thanks for the recommendation.
You're very welcome ☺! It is - definitely do check it out!
Hey, thanks so much Muna! I'm going to give Gitter a try.
You're very welcome Mekesia! Let me know how you get on with Gitter :)
:3 Great post! Your advice has really helped me alot. I´m a scholar and a newbie at real-life programming so I´m usually stuck.
Thank you Alfonso! I'm glad you found the post useful! Welcome to the dev family! :)