What should I do to practice being a "good coder" vs a "code Googler" who slaps other people's code into the site just because "it's enough to get the damn thing working"?

I feel really overwhelmed with all that Ive learned thus far. At this point I feel width with know depth when it comes to my knowledge of websites.

I've been messing around with html/css/js for a while and played with plenty of other languages,pre-processors, frameworks, etc. I never went to school for programming and have done work for small businesses independently for some time. Most of what I know comes from codecademy treehouse and similar sites. I can refer to Google on a lot of things but I feel like there are habits that I should be implementing so I don't have to re-do things later. I love the book apart series but I still feel like it's missing the foundational knowledge that I'm looking for.

After all of the time I've spent going through courses I feel like my experiences have given me solutions to build a few things and now I'm just jamming those solutions onto whatever I can until something I like comes on to the browser.

It's really easy to sit down and bang my head against the keyboard until something comes out that looks the way I want it to. However, I know there is way more going on that could help me make better decisions. I just feel like I'm missing something. Maybe it's experience, or maybe it's just the lack of commroddery from working alone and not being able to approach problems with a team.

I hate pulling up my css file and feeling like it's rubbish, and feeling like I don't completely understand things like flex, or display, or position. I've been pushing at this for a while but I don't think I've found a resource that has really made me feel like I'm anywhere close to being a competent coder.

There are tons of watch and learn and do type classes that show you how to make stuff, but I guess what I want to know now is why we make it that way.

At some point do you just sit down and read the MSN start to finish?

I wonder sometimes if my brain has been reprogrammed because I grew up in Google world and don't actually have to solve anything for myself. I read about a guy who locked himself away for hours with books on code and he just sat there and wrote his code on paper until he was confident that he was getting it right.

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    Great rant. I guess you'll never know until you build your own projects for fun. I Google for existing code for complex issues that have already been solved safely and are established norms because the workplace needs sound solutions quickly. But for my stuff, I write everything. Practise, until you're blue in the face. That's the only way you'll create those pathways in your brain. It's harder, because you're not 10 anymore (I assume) :)
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    I'd say once you get the concept, don't write everything yourself.

    There are many templates/frameworks to get you started quick and efficient -- that includes coding style, best practices, security, etc.
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