I am too stupid to program

I am new here. I am tired of trying to program something and the only thing I know how to do is do tutorials and even then, I don’t know how to understand the code.
As time continue I am becoming more and more stupid that all the effort (learning math, javascript, computer science) is going to waste. I am an art student and I am pretty sure my degree is pretty useless. It seems the only thing I know how to do is make pretty stuff. Anyone can do that. Even if I want to program something I end up reading a bunch of beginner materials again and again over and over and I don’t pick it up. I practice but the code is two lines long and it is never anything special. It is clear I am not logical enough. I just want to do amazing things with javascript such as animations and transitions but that will never happen. Do I even bother with something I know I will never get better at?

sorry, I know everyone hates whiners.


I think we often have expectations of tutorials, that we can just read them and start working right away. I’ve never really learned in this fashion and it has to be by trying to do my own project I get anywhere.

I disagree that anyone can make pretty stuff. If you combine your artistic talent with web development, I bet you could make great looking things.

So is there something you’d like to write now? How about making a start in a web based editor like codepen?

I don’t promise anything, but if you get really stuck, you could PM me a link to your code and I might have time to help you out or explain stuff. Again, no promises!

the problem I have is learning the fundamentals. I find books to be too boring and it seems I will always be a beginner level. do you learn the fundamentals by readings books? it seems that is the standard way to start. I have made many things but the designing part was the only interesting. I use codepen only for experiments but it sucks to see people do all of these cool things that I want to do but I can’t because I will never be as advanced in javascript to do the animations that they do. I always have ideas for projects and always know what to do with the design but when it comes with the javascript. I don’t know how to plan the interactions, I don’t know where to start. I don’t want to be the person that keeps asking for help. I want to be able to solve the problem on my own.

Have you tried an interactive tutorial like this?

With all the best intentions, books will try and go into a lot of detail too soon, like “here’s 50 ways to format strings”, “here’s a discussion on scope”. Which is nice, but a real turn off.

It’s doubly hard with JavaScript, it seems like you have to know about HTML and CSS too.

I tried codecademy javascript track and it was too simple and the they don’t go into the browser portion of javascript which is something I had to get from a book.

@forkInTheRoad, do you want to program as a profession, or a hobby?
If as a profession and you’re a more practical learner, then you can look at Young Professional/Traineeship/Apprenticeship programs of companies. During these programs the company trains you from beginner (even without any IT knowledge) to the level they need most (often Medior) withing a year or 2. Often fully paid as a junior engineer.

If as a hobby, find someone to learn from. Go to meetups and conferences, and start programming with others or atleast have them as a knowledgebase :smile:

But the first question that popped in my head during reading your initial post, was “Why do you want to start programming?”.
@forkInTheRoad What’s your motivation to start programming?

I want to program as a profession. I have the most interest in front end web development. The problem is how do I find apprenticeship programs? Everytime I look online, all people want is some mastermind who is qualified in everything they have listed and has multiple years experience and a great portfolio. I don’t have any of those. I reside in Austin (technology central, I assume) and I am going to graduate from the university in a year, how am I going to be job ready when I can’t stay focus?

Ok, I’m not from the US so I don’t know anything about Austin, but google to the rescue:

I opened the sites of the first 20 companies google returned and searched for the “Careers” sections.
From them I found the following “University Recruiting” and internship programs:

Between the vacancy overviews, search for an emailaddres or phone number to contact them. Don’t let you be blocked by lists of vacancies that are not a fit for you, according to you. Just contact them, explain where you are and what you want. And let them decide if they have something for you, or not.
Do they have a cool looking site? Than probably they have some cool frontend people working for them, or they can redirect you to the company who made it for them.
And don’t stop with “software companies”. These days every company has so have a online face, so everyone needs a website. Check out the sites of local companies, find the people/companies who created them and contact them.

btw. Your university probably also has a person who can help/guide you with finding a job for when you graduate. As that person knows the area, he/she can probably help you better. And ofthen they have good contacts with companies in the area.

It’s all a matter of trial-and-error, the least you can get is a no. But on every try, you probably learn how to improve for the next.

Based on your discussion it is looking like you are genuinely interested in programming. in that case if you want to start from the scratch, then my recommendation is that start from very basic and go through the YouTube tutorials. After gaining some basic knowledge you can take help from any expert institution, for example EduHelpHub and just learn the interesting area of programming.

I taught full-stack web dev at General Assembly, one of the code bootcamps, for awhile. Anyone can learn to code given good instruction and time. One of the obstacles I’ve faced is not being interested in the material presented, or not seeing it’s relevance to whatever I wanted to do. The solution to that when you’re a beginner is to teach yourself by giving yourself projects and goals that you’re interested in.

If you want to make pretty stuff on the web, first make sure you understand HTML layout. Just pick a page somewhere, and try to replicate it without viewing source. Then study up on the box model, and things like inline vs block. The most important thing though, is make sure whatever exercises you do are interesting to you personally. You probably don’t care about the minutae of flexbox, but you care very much about making a nice looking page. Study things that help you achieve that nice looking page without paying too much attention to how to do things properly. There’s time for that later.

Once you get that, figure out how to set properties via Javascript. Do things like make a box move back and forth on the page. Again, it doesn’t matter how, just that you can do it.

Later on, after you’ve gotten comfortable with figuring out how to do things, start looking into the best way of doing things. Talk to people, ask them how they’d do things.

Eventually, you’ll be doing things you never thought possible. But you’ll also never stop learning, amd you’ll make a ton of mistakes. That’s just the way it works for everyone.