As some of you may (or may not know), last year I wrote about an online platform I had discovered called Free Code Camp. Free Code Camp is a free online alternative where folks who want to become serious developers can certify. It has even been approved by Linkedin as an accepted source of certification. Last year, they were still in the process of finishing up the site and creating their own curriculum (much was borrowed from all over the web from places like Codecademy, and Code School, for example).
In the meanwhile, I decided to take some on-site classes to better my coding skills. I found a great school in downtown NYC called The New York Coding and Design Academy. There, I took Web Development 100, and Front End 101. They were part of NYCDA’s part-time, evening program, and come as a package. It is one I highly recommend if you want to learn how to code or improve upon your current skill set, and have the funds to pay for it. To learn more about this school, please visit:
So what was I going to do next? I still wanted to certify as either a Front End or Full Stack Developer. Because of my extensive creative work experience, naturally the Front End is where my passions lie. However, I also know the importance of the back end, and the specific importance of Data Visualization (Sass, React, etc). I searched and searched for the proper fit for me. I knew that cramming everything into 3 months of learning and then going out and seeking employment as a developer based on that learning was not for me. Developer Bootcamps also don’t focus much on the Front End. First of all, I couldn’t afford it. Second of all, I have always best succeeded when delving deep into learning a new skill set. Just because developer bootcamps are all the craze, it doesn’t mean that it is the only learning path to choose!
So what did I do? I decided to see what was going on with Free Code Camp. I had already completed 98 points (which were still present), so I thought it worth checking out. Guess what? It’s amazing. It’s very difficult, but worth every minute. Cleverly enough, Free Code Camp now has an About page which includes website and student statistics. For example, Free Code Camp launched 566 days ago. That’s a little over a year and a half ago. 14,509,945 challenges have been completed by FCC students. To learn more, please visit:
I am now at 305 points. And it is at the 305th point challenge that I decided to start writing about how I come about figuring out my challenges. It’s a great way for me to clarify my thinking process to myself as well as improving upon the articulation of my code.
But the best about this is yet to be revealed. Free Code Camp isn’t just about learning developer skills online. Free Code Camp has established weekly on site group meetings across the country and around the world whereby people can pair up and learn from each other. At least in NYC, there are senior developers who can help Free Code Camp students who are stuck in figuring out various challenges or who have general questions regarding Web Development. For example, in Manhattan alone, Free Code Campers meet 3 times a week. As far as I know, there are also weekly gatherings in Brooklyn.
Free Code Camp is very active on Twitter, and especially on Facebook. As you will find out if you join, Free Code Camp shouldn’t be your only source of learning, but it should be your learning anchor. If you have any questions regarding Free Code Camp or what I mean by “anchor”, please feel free to reach out!
All I can say is, in the short time that I have been back on Free Code Camp, I have met some great folk whom I am looking forward to sharing code and knowledge with. It’s the best decision I made!