Thought I would share my experiences on freeCodeCamp, if it works and if it’s really worth it?
freeCodeCamp is a completely free and non-profit platform for learning web development — front-end and back-end (thus Full-Stack).
It’s very hands-on, and doesn’t have any video tutorials.
Instead, you will have to follow the instructions and as soon as possible dig into the code.
I’ve been in web development for around 2 years already, and I’ve yet to learn now that I have come back and went through the fundamentals, only to realise that I have missed out a large portion on the learning I could’ve taken on early on!
It’s good that I met amazing people at the CodeCademy meetup in London who made me realise that: ( a ) I am not the only web developer in the United Kingdom, ( b ) there are amazing stories/backgrounds of these web developers, ( c ) they are all world-class beings at what they do (all in one area too!).
Attending the meetup made me break my biases to which I am completely blinded from.
Please see my post about overcoming this loneliness as a web developer a few days back for more about this.
It’s like a baby elephant tied to a wooden pole from birth, that when it grows it can very well break away, but doesn’t realise that it can — until it does.
2 years back, I thought that my system in place to learning would be to get into a project and begin learning from there. Asking questions through Stack Overflow, reading up comments and articles, etc.
But I realised there was no plan/syllabus of learning in place.
So even though I did expect myself to do the job pretty well and blast through one mach to the other, this was only what I the beginner was thinking to myself.
I had yet to realise that I can keep blasting more sound barriers faster in learning, if I were to expand my awareness.
This awareness is to know that I am in the right path, and I need to keep trodding that path, but realise that I am not the only one in this 24,901-mile Earth.
If you treat humans as they are (humans), you begin to realise how powerful it is to listen to another person’s experiences and learn from them.
It’s like you grew a clone of yourself from another country, speaking another language, thinking a completely different way. That’s unbelievable — but that’s the equivalent of listening to someone you meet.
So the wonders in there are totally insane.
But going back to Web development knowing you’re not the only world-class being out there, yes, joining a CodeCademy meetup or a freeCodeCamp meetup is really worth it.
And yes, using a syllabus to learn is definitely worth it. But learn not just 1 course, but about 3. That way, you find out what works best for you. I used to work with (1) Video tutorials alone, (2) Stack Overflow/Googling questions alone, and (3) freeCodeCamp Hands-On work.
And #3 is what suits me best.
If you’re reading this and you’re a web developer, please go have a try at freeCodeCamp (especially the Algorithm Scripting portion) and find out if that’s for you.
If you’re a beginner at web development, go try freeCodeCamp first. That way, you don’t have to waste 2 years going through half-masked learning like I wrongfully did. You will thank me later!
Yes, you get a full-fledged certificate having completed the course path (currently Front-end, then Back-end) but that doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have real-life projects. The courses do let you build a portfolio out, but it’s up to you to collaborate with other guys too!
Another reason for joining a CodeCademy meetup: the guys there could need help with an app they’re building. And if you could tag along, that’s a million thank you’s for the support you’ll give them!
Because it’s about the portfolio, not a piece of paper supporting your knowledge. We want to see your knowledge applied.
freeCodeCamp/CodeCademy is totally worth it.
- Get Hands-On straight-to-the-point experience/practice
- Build a portfolio at the same time
- Not fall into the Stack Overflow/googling rabbit hole (took me 730 days to get out!)
- Counts roughly how many x hours to complete a section
- Meetups based on this are priceless gems (so are the guys there just like you!)
If you liked this post you’ll also like the one about Overcoming Loneliness as a Web Developer. It’s a barrier to break from being human, but we need to conquer a bias as we realise we are under this spell. The only way is through expanding our awareness, and through that we’ll then boost our learning through the max!
I also have a post after this for WordPress meetups and if they are worth it. Check it out!