Learn#CodingWisdom: When You Want to Quit


Faye Bridge
writes on August 19, 2016

Learning to code means understanding technology in a new way. You’ll master new tools and languages, establish different ways of thinking, and become responsive and adaptive to problem-solving. The skills you learn will open up new career opportunities and shape your future. Take a moment to appreciate how empowering that is. Wherever you are in your learning experience, the outcome is going to be rewarding and worthwhile. But is it going to be easy?


Learning to code is challenging and at times incredibly frustrating. In fact, at times it’ll seem easier to just quit. Nobody understands that better than our students. That’s why we asked a selection of them who are now professional developers – and were once in your shoes – to share their advice for how to get past it.

Be Patient

“Internalizing and understanding code doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve found it really important to continually come back, refresh and reiterate the work you do.”

Lee Crockford, Freelancer & Non-profit Organizer

Programming is an in-demand and versatile skill, but it doesn’t come easily. As Lee points out, to retain your skills, you need to be applying and improving them. Practice makes perfect. You’ll make things and break things, but will learn valuable lessons from both.

Take a Break

“Don’t lose hope. If something is frustrating you, walk away for a bit. I was having a hard time figuring out some JavaScript code out and I thought of the solution while relaxing in my hammock! Also, don’t think you need to know everything before applying to jobs. I am still learning A LOT while on the job.”

Amanda Bates, Developer

Every expert was once a beginner and that especially applies to programming. No one is “born to code.” It’s a skill everyone can learn – that’s why at Treehouse, we believe anyone can be a developer. When you find yourself frustrated and overwhelmed while learning, remind yourself that everyone in the industry has been there, you’re not alone. Then one day, like Amanda, you’ll be the one sharing your words of wisdom with aspiring developers.

Be Disciplined

“Motivation is fleeting, discipline is more reliable. Some days you’re not really in the mood to get things done and that’s ok, but try to program at least an hour or two if you can.”

Scott Cook, Developer

Self-motivation has its limits, and as Scott explains, that’s okay. But remind yourself that every minute you spend learning will take you closer to your goal.  Find a balance between contributing in small increments and longer periods throughout your week.

Don’t Give Up

“There will be at least one moment where you will feel completely frustrated, and want to quit. But remember, don’t give up! Use the problems you experience as stepping stones to becoming a better developer.”

Ashley Harpp, Developer

Ashley is right, you will  feel frustrated at times and want to quit. But dig into your determination and don’t give up. It won’t come easy, but with each challenge you overcome, there will be the reward of a new accomplishment and a strengthen skills.

It takes patience, discipline, and determination to learn to code, but remember, you’re up to the challenge and it’ll be worth it. When you’re in need of support, turn to fellow aspiring coders and experts in the Treehouse Community, or follow us on Twitter for a daily dose of motivation.

Start learning to code today with Treehouse. 


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7 Responses to “#CodingWisdom: When You Want to Quit”

  1. Hello, This seems to be very interesting and true facts that can happen to any beginner programmer. But once you handle the initial problems, then programming becomes fun and best way of learning. Thanks for sharing, it has made me remind of my initial days of learning.

  2. Really great article, enjoyed reading. 🙂

  3. All of the advice given by the developers are so inspiring. I am currently still in my beginner stages of learn to code and I definitely agree that it certainly takes patience. That is something I usually remind myself of on a daily to weekly bases. Because it can be discouraging when the going gets tough. Great post I love all of your blogs Faye.

  4. The first few months of teaching yourself to code is definitely a roller coaster ride. To anyone struggling, don’t give up! I started learning to code 2 years ago & I still remember how happy I was when I finally grasped for-loops on Treehouse . Tip: please find a community or group you can code with, don’t do it alone when you don’t have to =).

    – Clifford, Treehouse Student & Software Engineer @Salesforce

  5. Take time to talk with programmers more skilled than you can make the path easier too. Is good to have someone better than you to help when you are stuck or even when you are thinking about quitting.

    With some luck you can even find someone that will love to teach you like I found.

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