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Not sinking in. Need suggestions

Hello… Newbie here. I’ve noticed I’m not absorbing most of the syntax format, and I never know which method or variable is needed. In the challenges, I draw a blank every time, have no idea where to start, and always have to cheat and look at the example, AND copy all of it down instead of doing it on my own. Is this a normal occurrence? Am I the only one who is this lost? Maybe it’s an age thing. I mean, I AM half a century old. Any thoughts? Should I even continue trying to code? I want to but I don’t know if I’m going to get it.

Thanks for your suggestions and comments.



Hi Duane,

Don’t worry, you would not be the first to scratch your head and wonder “how on earth should I approach this challenge”.

As long as you have given it your best shot that’s great. Looking at the solution is not an admission of defeat. It’s all part of the learning process and we have all been there on our own journeys. Even now there are still some things that I struggle a little with like Dictionaries.

You will find that over time you will often refer back to code that you wrote ages ago but had forgotten how you went about it. Repetition creates muscle memory and you will eventually find it easier and easier.

If there is something that you are not suer about then by all means ask a question before resorting to looking at the solution. A hint is all you might need.


@DTreks Howdy DTreks. Another half century student here along with you for the ride. I’ve done the 14 day beginner challenge, have completed CWC+ module 1, and am 2 lessons into module 2. Right now I am very much aware that I am sharper in the morning compared to the afternoon, and like you I am feeling quite lost.

I’m going through the lessons and making lots of notes, and do quite well in the quizzes, but when it comes to the challenges at this point I admit I look at them thinking WTF is that :smiley: So what I’m doing is printing the challenge text out, downloading the solution, and then typing the solution into XCode so that at least I am going through the motions, and have the doc’s to refer back to later (I don’t think I’ll only be doing the lessons only once!).

Hang in there and keep pushing through.


Hi Chris… I think I need a lot more than just a hint, but thanks for your words of encouragement. Maybe I’ll try starting over. :thinking:

Hi Boeingfan… Glad to know I’m not the only one in the over 50 club having issues. I’m not glad you’re having issues, but you know what I mean. haha I’m not giving up yet. I’m going to keep trying.

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Duane, don’t worry everyone feels this way at some point along their journey.

I would make sure when watching the lessons you think about, what’s the concept that’s being taught here? And figure out WHY something is being taught as opposed to just writing the code. Know the why, not just the syntax (how it’s written).

Think about the concept and try just googling that concept alone and seeing other videos related to it. You may not understand it in a specific lesson, but googling a different video about the same topic, someone else might be able to explain it in a different way that makes more sense.

Also remember, haha programming is tough!! If it wasn’t everyone would be doing and people wouldn’t be getting paid 6 figures for this!

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Thank you Mikaela… Is that 6 figures for coding in Swift? I think I may have been trying to go through the lessons as quick as I could. Now, I’m starting over and taking it much slower.

It’s not “cheating”, it’s “learning”. Sometimes looking at the solution is part of the learning - at least it is for me.

I watch the lesson video typing what Chris is typing (often pausing the video, too), and adding comment notes to remind me what Chris has been discussing. But, even after taking time with the lesson, I’ll often look at the challenge and can’t see what’s being asked, or how it relates to the lesson. Case in point, I’m on the lesson about EnvironmentObject - and we’ve recently had whirlwind tours of GeometryView, GitHub, JSON, etc. The challenge in this lesson talks about “Toggle”. What on Earth is that? My head is still spinning from the recent lessons, without something new cropping up out of nowhere.

You bet I’m looking at the solution!

The way I work it is that, if I don’t understand what the challenge is asking, I’ll get the solution and work backwards. I’ll either find parts of the solution that help me understand what the question was, and then I’ll have a go myself; or else I’ll take the bits of the challenge solution I don’t understand and play about with them in Xcode to see what they do on the simulator/preview.

As I see it, the goal at the end of this is not for everything to “sink in”. Memorising a recipe of ingredients doesn’t bake a better cake. The goal is to understand what the language can do, and how to work out getting it to do what you want it to do. That way you’re baking your own cake, not making a verbatim copy of someone else’s.

Use every resource as part of the learning curve. Don’t think of the challenge as homework - no one’s going to be marking you on how well you’ve done. The only person who needs to appreciate and understand what we’ve learned is ourselves because, one day, we’ll be all we have.

Celebrate your willingness to learn. Don’t dwell on how you learn it. And remember, we’re right at the beginning of this - we’re going to stumble a lot more before we can stand on our own two feet.

PS: Another “over half-century” guy here, and I write the above mostly to settle my own thoughts on my latest challenge - I just hope it helps you, too.


Yes you can make 6 figures doing iOS development!

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JRudderham… I’m doing the same thing. Watching the video, typing exactly what Chris is doing, and pausing the video because he moves so fast! Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it!


Circling back to this post as I have found myself in a slump of fog. For a few days now I’ve stepped away from it, with thoughts that I can’t do it going through my head, and getting really frustrated. I know, I know, with persistence I can review and re-attempt each lesson, though I’m at the point where I’m not able to do the challenges because I don’t understand where to start. I take pages of notes and get 67-100% in the quizzes, but the challenges are another beast entirely.

I’ve been feeling as though I need live classes, as opposed to pre-recorded video classes. To have someone that I can ask questions to in that moment to help me learn has crossed my mind as perhaps the way I learn most productively, so I’ve been looking at what else is around but it all seems so elusive. Here in Australia live classes seem to be as rare as rocking horse poo! Anyway, rant over, nothing you haven’t read before, just expressing where I’m at. Thanks :slight_smile:

I think there would be something wrong with us if we didn’t all have feelings of anxiety and trepidation when facing something as complicated as a “new language” - for that’s what coding is.

I’ve had many moments of “This is just too much…”.

My solution for this is to go for a walk, and get my head in the right place by not dwelling on how complicated it all is. Instead, I look back to my first day when I saw this great wide ocean of “the unknown” before me. Today, despite how complicated it all is, there are many things I do as second nature. Who thinks about how we put together VStack, HStack, ZStack, any more? Or how the syntax of a button is coded? Did we know any of this before day one?

Every day, every week, every month there will be something that seems so off-the-wall bonkers complicated today that we’ll be coding without a second’s thought.

Don’t dwell too much on what you don’t know. Instead remind yourself of what you have learned.

I’ve just completed module 4’s wrap-up challenge and, after I’d put down the basics (surprising myself of how much I do actually know now), I opened up the solution and went through all the bits I didn’t understand. If I couldn’t see how something worked (like when $0 cropped up, or “.indices”, etc), then I went off to Google them and only put them into my code once I knew what they were doing there.

Every day I post something to my blog so I can look back to see that ‘struggling’ isn’t something new, and to remind myself how many past struggles I have overcome. I also use my blog to copy & paste code snippets to remind myself of certain things that may seem confusing today, or that I think I might need to be reminded of in the future. My blog is a light-hearted piece of fun to contrast with the slog of learning something new each day.

There are many ways to learn and, whilst it would be handy to have “instant access” to someone with whom we can discuss all of this complicated convulted mire of confusing code, be assured that every day you are learning something new. And never be afraid of asking questions here if you’re stuck. Who knows, some day it may be me answering your question! (But maybe not just yet, lol!)


I don’t know if anyone is doing live in-person classes these days. The next best thing may be a Zoom-type class. I don’t know if anyone has classes like that either, (at least not for Swift coding). Then again, I haven’t looked into it. On the other hand, I like being able to stop the video and allow myself to catch-up. Because of that, I think I would be left behind in a “classroom” setting. At least Chris has this forum set-up to make it the best of both worlds. I mean, asking a question in the forum is almost like asking it in a classroom setting… almost.

I’ve started printing-out the examples and writing my own notes next to the code to try and get myself to understand what the code is doing. I think it’s working, for the most part. There are still a couple lines of code I don’t quite understand. I’ll probably post some questions in the forum and see if someone can help me get it.

Yes, feel free to ask questions in a different post, so they can be marked as the solution

(As opposed to in this thread, it could get very confusing)

If you wanted personalized attention, the next best thing would be finding a mentor

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been taking these classes when I have time and I have no background in code or computers AT ALL. it has been quite hard getting into it but every time I finish a class I feel proud I’m glad I’m not the only one that seems a bit lost at this point in lesson 12. I’m hoping i’ll understand more as I’m doing it daily.


Just to add onto what everyone else is saying, I’m 26 years old and basically did the EXACT same thing you did.

I felt frustrated at my inability to do the challanges and very much resorted to looking at the answers and cheating a good portion of the time. The challenges are indeed challenging. 5 months in and I’m planning on going back to redo all of them to have them cement further because I still dont think I have great mastery over it!

So overall, don’t worry. I feel like everyone’s in the same boat - its not a matter of how smart or old or young you are. The stuff is just tough ahaha

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I’m am retired. Worked for 15 years in IT early in my career. I know lots of languages. Frankly, learning Swift is difficult. If not for my previous training, particularly in c++ I would have had lots of problems.

One thing I have found helpful if you are struggling with a particular method is to do small experiments outside of your project. For example, I was having problems with Picker. So, I set up a simple example app to play with that method. This allows you to make changes, test ideas and stumble without messing your original project up.

Also, using Git is helpful. Before making major changes in uncharted waters, I make sure to commit and push to GitHub so that if I have to undo those changes it is easy to recover.

Hope this is of some help.


I’m also a newbie and currently going through Module 2 and feel completely lost once reading the challenges, and find myself very discouraged. I grasp the concepts in the video lessons, and usually am perfectly fine with the quiz, but the challenges and the solutions might as well be written in Latin.

I actually think the entire class structure is missing the crucial element of simple exercises. I watch a video lesson, and I expect that I will be going through some basic exercises repeating what I just watched. Instead we get only the challenge which takes what we watched in the video and adds very excessive complexity to it, with elements that I failed to fully comprehend in previous lessons because they too were obscured with unneeded complexity. Repeat ad infinitum.

Essentially I feel like I never even managed to fully wrap my head around the basics from module one in regards to Functions & Structs and when/how to use them before I was being thrown challenges with arrays and multiple function required projects without any idea how to proceed,

For now I’m sticking with it and going through the video lessons, but am doing so with the expectation I will need to rewatch at least once more to even attempt the challenges, and maybe even repeat module one again for the third time(!).

Perhaps you need an even simpler stream for those that are completely new to coding altogether, as I feel the IOS foundations course is more suited to those that have a basic programming level in another language already perhaps.

Alternatively is there a resource which is focused on multiple exercises based on Module 1 concepts?

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I come from a web development background and have coded front end apps for well over 10 years. I found the syntaxes very similar to JavaScript, But not all of it, although the concepts are similar.

I myself found it pretty tough on challenges because programming is all about the logic and not just the syntaxes. So I have no doubt that people from a non IT background have to definitely get frustrated.

I do attempt the challenges, but if i get stuck some where and it throws an error I try to google for solutions, just like how I would when I am working. But if it comes to a point where I need to yank my hair out, I just move on to the next chapter.

Programming is all about Logic and Muscle memory… I suggest that even if you do fail at some point at the challenges, just keep going forward with the next chapter. keep practicing something everyday and typing in code for at-least a few minutes daily.

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This thread very helpful. I have the same mental frustration and I am nearing the three quarter of a century point since I am 72. However, I am encouraged with this thread because I was thinking some very depressing thoughts about learning code. Still wavering on whether to subscribe but I posted a question and have had no responses about my particular situation. You would think someone would at least give a cursory reply to my situation.