Since I joined freeCodeCampGuam, I thought it’d be a good idea to familiarize myself with the content and offerings that our parent organization, freeCodeCamp, provides. Prior to their recent revamp of the site, they offered three main certificates based on their courses and projects in front-end development, back-end development, and data visualization:
Here are the new certificates:
- Responsive Web Design
- Algorithms and Data Structures
- Front End Libraries
- Data Visualization
- APIs and Microservices
- Information Security and Quality Assurance
These will replace the old legacy certificates:
- Legacy Front End Development
- Legacy Data Visualization
- Legacy Back End Development
I started taking the courses before they rolled out the changes to the curriculum. I noticed they left out a lot of cool CSS tricks as well as responsive design–things I didn’t actually know how to do. I picked up after taking a short few week break and noticed that all my progress was… skewed? Not necessarily missing, but dispersed differently, if that makes sense. I wasn’t aware that they expanded the course, which was a really neat surprise.
Because I’ve been playing around with web dev projects here and there, I was able to breeze through the HTML and the more elementary CSS tasks. I did however, realize that a lot of the new stuff I learned didn’t really stick. My suggestion would be to add mini-projects or more reiterative tasks throughout the course with touch-points that cover the previous content to reinforce the ideas and concepts.
On that same point, I think freeCodeCamp makes it too easy to breeze through the content by copying the examples and changing the values to match the assignment. Sure, there are five projects to be completed at the end of the courses to tie all the concepts all together, but I think more hands-on experience on real projects is definitely needed to truly learn. I’m sure no one really expects to learn purely off courseware sites like freeCodeCamp, but there are people out there that do it just to collect more certificates, which can devalue its worth.
Ultimately, it’s up to the individual on how seriously they take the curriculum and how much time they put into actual practice, so the verdict is that freeCodeCamp is definitely not a bad place to start! Chovin and I have talked about holding a Python workshop soon for freeCodeCampGuam, so that prompted me to resume my Python courses on codecademy.com. Not only are these sites helping me learn, but I’m also understanding how we can incorporate these methods into creating our own online courses (like the course we’re writing on PICO-8). I’ll report back on how learning with codecademy goes!