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You're worrying about the wrong thing if you're trying to learn it all

There are a million and one things that we need to learn in order to be a front-end developer, and it seems like every 30 seconds there is another new thing that we need to add to our arsenal.

Learning new things can be fun, but when it seems like the list of new things we need to learn just keeps on growing, it can be overwhelming.

And there is another big issue. While we’re off learning all this new stuff, how the hell can we remember all the things we’ve already learned?

I often get asked, either through a DM or email from a follower, or sometimes as a YouTube comment, asking the best strategy to memorize everything.

The truth is, I don’t memorize anything. I remember things because I use them all the time, and because I get to focus primarily on CSS. The more I use them, the better I get with them and the more fun I have with them. But I don’t remember everything.

Actually, it’s not even close.

It’s all a big lie

When you watch a YouTube video of mine or someone else coding something up, it can seem like I know everything. And then next week I put out a new video on a new topic and I know that too!

Of course I do! I’ve scripted it out and I’ve already built that thing before.

Most of the time, people in videos and courses on coding are just copying code from a finished version they have on their other screen.

Things need to be planned out! If they aren’t, the quality of the lessons would be terrible.

But it does give this false sense that the “professionals” out there know and remember everything.

No one remembers it all

One of the reasons I love listening to podcasts on development is when the people you look up to talk about how they forget things, or have to look things up (sometimes things that I know really well!).

Constantly on ShopTalk Show, they have names coming on that I have so much respect for and they talk about how they had to research certain things for a book that they wrote, and then later on find themselves having to read parts of their own book to remember how it works.

I can relate to this, I’ve literally watched parts of my own videos to remember how to do certain things.

I know that it’s something I used to know (I did make a video on it after all!), but because I haven’t used that thing in awhile, maybe even since I made that video, I don’t remember how the hell it works anymore!

And this is normal.

And I think it’s important to know that we shouldn’t have everything memorized.

It’s not about memorizing everything, it’s about knowing that the solution exists

There are so many little tips and tricks in CSS, so many cool little obscure features that there is no way that I’ll remember how all of them work, or heck, what they are even all called!

But something comes up, and instead of thinking “huh, I have no idea what I could do here”, I go “oh, I know there is this thing that could help with that” and immediately I research what it is. Maybe it's something that I saw an article or video on, or maybe it's something that I've used in the past and simply forgot how it works.

It’s not about memorizing how everything works. You’ll never do that. Instead, it’s about knowing that the solution exists.

And the more you do things, and the more you need to use these obscure features, the more you’ll remember how they work. Then you won’t use it for 6-months and you’ll completely forget.

And that’s fine.