My name is Mason Ellwood, and I’m currently working on Flatiron School’s Online Full Stack Web Development Program. Each week, I’ll be writing about my experience, what I’m learning, and tips on learning to code.

Within this post, I will cover something that I tend to dread. Backtracking. For me while learning, especially with code, there is always a small portion that does not quite make sense…. And with this, moving forward, the lessons build upon those concepts and the more and more you move forward, the more the material does not quite stick.

Usually, when this happens, I move forward anyways, full well knowing that what I just read does not quite make sense. But in my head, I’m assuming that the next lesson will clarify the previous. I then continue this cycle of confusion until is it too late. But like always, I move forward. This is the predicament that I am in right now. I am so far along in the lessons that I’m not sure how to proceed on a lot of the lessons, without reviewing someone else’s code. I am unsure where I took a hard left turn, but I did…

Moving backward and reestablishing by base knowledge, where my knowledge base cracked, is something I do not like doing. But I know the importance of this.

In school, especially in a subject that I was not too fond of, I would twiddle my thumbs and figured I would study like hell for the test. Which sadly works incredibly well. It probably should not but it does.

When learning a trade skill, like programming it is important to absorb all the material. When something does not make sense take a step back and establish yourself before you move forward. It is easy to not want to do this because it feels like progress is not being made. But what I found out is that, if you do not do this, when you know full well it is needed, you will have to backtrack even further than you thought you had to.

This is the position that I am in right now with The Flatiron Schools….

Somewhere along the way, I missed a core concept. Something did not stick, and I can’t quite pinpoint where exactly that was, but it happened. I am now working through ORM and Active Record, and any OO Ruby they ask me to write is fought with a lot of confusion and pain.

Working through the material that I have previously completed has been greatly beneficial to myself and Ruby is becoming more second nature.

Work slowly, and absorb. Learning is not a race and should not be treated as a race. When something doesn’t make sense ask questions and understand what exactly that is that does not make sense. I keep thinking to myself. Someone at the end of all this training is going to pay me to write code for a career. If I don’t know to do something, that is too bad… because that’s your job. 

I have learned to take my time, understand and absorb, then practice application to meet the knowledge goals I have set for myself.

Read More at My Journey Of Learning Programming Through Flatiron School #20