All Hexlet tasks are designed to be done directly in your browser (excluding projects where we're practicing work skills in a real development environment). This approach allows you to focus on the task itself, but, unfortunately, may give users a false sense of understanding of what is happening. Learning programming is largely related to setting up the environment, and for a considerable number of people the installation and configuration process is more complicated than writing code itself. The sooner you start playing around with your code, the faster your progress will be, and you'll be able to write real applications and complete coding tasks! Speaking of tasks, we have on Hexlet a list of test assignments from different companies. We recommend using it as a benchmark. It would be perfect if you could do at least one or two in your GitHub account as part of your learning. Firstly, it will give you the confidence to see that you can already do something, and secondly, employers will have a chance to evaluate your GitHub account and look at your code.
Before you start, make sure:
It's not talked about much, but using the command line, setting up the environment (installing languages and libraries) and interacting with the operating system is a significant part of any programming in any language, including back-end and even front-end development. It determines the efficiency of debugging, the ability to handle problems independently, and even the quality of the code.
When programmers get their first job, they initially run the project locally on their computer. The larger and more complex the project, the more knowledge may be required, ranging from networks (ports, IP addresses) and virtualization (Docker) to builders (webpack). Some companies can take days (or even a whole week in some unfortunate cases) to set this up. And that's assuming that the programmer is skilled enough.
Learning your language ecosystem is an ongoing and very unpredictable process. Never-ending baffling error messages are normal. Constant googling for hours is also normal. It's a necessary evil that everyone has gone through. Why does this happen? Unlike programming languages, where everything follows certain rules, the ecosystem is like a zoo filled with a myriad of programs, operating systems and hardware features that intertwine with each other in a very intricate way. It's so unique that most programmers have their own distinct situation.
That's why there are thousands of articles on Node.js installation, with new ones constantly appearing. Meanwhile, the comments on these articles show that haven't helped all users, but just a few of them, and that users struggle with errors every step of the way.
Once you get the hang of it, it won't be such a big deal. The only important thing is to avoid solving problems by trial and error and to find its root causes. This is the only way for you to grow as a developer.
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