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Cover image for [On-Demand Talk] The Beauty of Being Stuck
Jonathan Yeong
Jonathan Yeong

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[On-Demand Talk] The Beauty of Being Stuck

About This Talk

When we get stuck, we often have feelings of frustration, doubt, and stress. In my talk, the Beauty of Being Stuck, I argue that being stuck is a good thing. It's an opportunity for growth and an indicator of progress - something that can be hard to come by as a developer! By changing our mindset around this tough situation we are better prepared to get unstuck. Finally, I'll discuss the different types of being stuck and offer tips to get unstuck.


  1. A new way to think about being stuck.
  2. The "Ok Plateau" and why it's so dangerous if you're looking to improve.
  3. Different ways to get unstuck.



>> Click here to download slides

🌈 Comment below and ask me questions β€” I might just answer them during my live speaker discussion!

About Jonathan

Jonathan Yeong is a Senior Developer at Shopify and a Rubyist at heart. In his spare time, Jonathan produces videos about all things programming and writes on and CodeNewbie Community about topics that matter to early-career developers.

Connect With Me

This on-demand talk is part of CodeLand 2021 β€” a virtual conference brought to you by CodeNewbie & DEV on September 23 & 24, 2021.

Latest comments (28)

muaz7a8s profile image

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kirandev profile image

This was fantastic! There's a lot of valuable pointersΒ here, and it's all conveyed with a sense of humor. It's been quite beneficial to me as I learn to code. Thank you for the extra resources, as well!

ana profile image

I loved how you differentiated the levels of being stuck and then working from there to get unstuck. Thank you for the introduction to Joshua Foer’s work 🀩

stephback profile image
Stephanie Back

Thank you for such a great talk Jonathan! It was great to hear the trials and tribulations of being stuck can be restructured for good! It's difficult to overcome being stuck as a newbie but your insight will make these instances less terrible! Thanks again! :D

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Heyo! If you have any questions for Jonathan (@jonoyeong ) please drop them here! πŸ™

We're gathering up these questions for the live speaker discussion coming up later on. πŸ“£

whatnotery profile image
Jos O'shea (they/them)

I'm early on in my learning journey. I've been coding little one page vanilla JS apps just to practice and on a couple of them have felt completely lost before starting but eventually after the coding equivalent of throwing spaghetti at a wall figure it out on my own . You said in your talk there's value in reaching out for help when you're stuck and I'm sure I would've solved these problems faster with guidance but is there also value in just hacking at it until you get something that works?

jonoyeong profile image
Jonathan Yeong

Yes for sure! There's no hard and fast rule, it's all guidance. And everyone has their own way of approaching a problem. I'd still suggest using a timer to set how much time you hack on a problem. In a job you might not want to spend too much time on a task. And even though you might happily hack away, it may be a detriment to your work.

A timer is also a nice break, and a point to pause and reflect on how far you've gotten!

Thread Thread
whatnotery profile image
Jos O'shea (they/them)

Thanks for the response!

noviicee profile image

Amazing talk Jonathan! Those examples really got us. This is definitely going to be helpful for the audience. The connection you made with as growing as a developer was amazing! Thank you!
(Going on YouTube and Twitter to subscribe and follow :)

xelaflash profile image

very nice talk.

sharacrosslin profile image
Shara Crosslin

Thanks for a great talk, Jonathan πŸ‘πŸΌ
The intro was so relatable! I really appreciate the mindset that being stuck is evidence of progress. I find myself getting lost in the woods fairly often. Do you have advice for how I can prevent myself from going down a rabbit hole when trying to nail down the concepts I'm stuck on?

jonoyeong profile image
Jonathan Yeong

I mentioned this in the panel, but setting a time limit is the best advice I can give. When that timer goes off, that's an opportunity to step back and figure out if you're making progress. If you're feeling like you have more to learn then keep going. Otherwise, stop, take a break and come back to the problem. Or ask for help!

tracycss profile image
Jane Tracy πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»

Great talk, enjoyed it.
I was stuck in a project this week but after taking breaks helped me think outside the box and find a solution.

stevenyholm profile image
Steve Nyholm

Good talk about a common experience. I think how many times you get unstuck is a key difference between a beginner/hobby developer and a professional. Loved the editing, made it fun to watch!

ckn00b profile image
Christian New

great stuff @jonoyeong ! It really is important to let go and take a break so you can pass that sticking point.

peeyou profile image

It's almost like there's a link between learning your way out of getting stuck, and learning your way out of imposter syndrome (

but i'm stuck on what it might be....

austinkempker profile image

Amazing job with this talk Jonathan. You gave really great examples on being stuck and how different "types" of being stuck can be solved in different ways. The perspective shift from fearing being stuck to acknowledging it as growing as a developer is one that I will have to practice and adopt. Thank you!

jonoyeong profile image
Jonathan Yeong

Thank you! I appreciate it!

srivera12 profile image
Sarah Rivera

This was amazing! So much great info and conveyed with humor. Really helpful for me as I'm learning to code. Also, thank you so much for the additional resources!

austinxduong profile image

Loved this talk and will most definitely check out the resources, thank you JonathanπŸ€—