People come to Epicodus with a wide range of experience in and natural aptitude for programming. But the effect of those differences on your pace of learning will pale in comparison to the effect of developing a "growth mindset".
Read about the growth mindset and how to develop it in the following article:
"The learning myth: Why I'll never tell my son he's smart" by Sal Khan
Our teachers at Epicodus will help you develop a growth mindset. We want you to help your peers develop a growth mindset as well.
Come back to these choice excerpts when you need inspiration:
Researchers have known for some time that the brain is like a muscle; that the more you use it, the more it grows.
Neural connections form and deepen most when we make mistakes doing difficult tasks rather than repeatedly having success with easy ones.
Our intelligence is not fixed, and the best way that we can grow our intelligence is to embrace tasks where we might struggle and fail.
People with growth mindsets correctly believe that capability and intelligence can be grown through effort, struggle and failure.
Mindsets can be taught; they’re malleable.
Praising someone’s process (“I really like how you struggled with that problem”) versus praising an innate trait or talent (“You’re so clever!”) is one way to reinforce a growth mindset.
If you have a growth mindset — if you enjoy challenging yourself and view your failures as opportunities to learn, not mistakes to be ashamed of — you'll be much more successful at Epicodus. The same is true of your approach to your teachers and to Epicodus curriculum. We have a growth mindset, too. Sometimes a lesson has a mistake in it or a technology becomes outdated. Sometimes a teacher doesn't have the answer to a question. While this can be frustrating for students, it's an opportunity for all of us to practice having a growth mindset. When these kinds of things happen — or when coursework becomes frustrating or feels very challenging — return to this growth mindset mentality.
Work on developing a growth mindset. Your teachers will help guide you in that direction.
An important part of this mindset is to measure your progress against yourself and not against other students. This is what we mean when we say "run your own race": don't compare yourself to others. Instead, focus on yourself and your progress as compared to where you were before.
It's unlikely you've previously used your brain as intensely as you will at Epicodus. Getting used to this kind of a mental workout is hard enough without adding the pressure of comparing yourself to others. Everybody has their own way and pace of learning and retaining information, and often that pace ebbs and flows throughout the class. Go at a pace that's right for you, and avoid comparing your progress to others.
Also, we commonly see students giving themselves a hard time if they don't understand material right away. Sometimes students blame themselves for not picking up content quickly. Sometimes they find fault in the curriculum or in their teachers because something is initially confusing, challenging, or complex. However, these things take time to learn. Some of the concepts you learn at Epicodus may not click until weeks or even months later. Part of having a growth mindset also means being patient with yourself and trusting the process. The saying "practice makes perfect" isn't really true — there's no way to become perfect! However, practice will help you grow as a coder. Be patient with yourself, your peers, and with us. And trust the process, too.