FreeCodeCamp - A Fantastic, Free Resource

Most of my time learning to code with online resources involved using paid courses (CS50 being the exception). When I wanted to dive deeper into JavaScript I didn't want to spend more money. This is when I turned to freeCodeCamp.

I was aware of freeCodeCamp from my previous research, but at the time the structure of the program was not one that appealed to me. However, in the years between there have been major updates that made it a perfect fit for what I wanted to accomplish.

While I originally sought out FreeCodeCamp to grow my JavaScript skills, once I took a look at the updated curriculum I decided to just start at the beginning and solidify my HTML and CSS as well. With this in mind, I went through the Responsive Web Design section and completed one of the final projects. Since I was reviewing I opted not to do the additional projects for this section and moved on to JavaScript.

The JavaScript section starts with some basic concepts and moves through debugging, basic data structures, object-oriented programming, functional programming, and algorithmic scripting and it ends with 5 projects that bring many of those concepts together. I found the structure and the progression to be very fluid and really enjoyed the process.

 freeCodeCamp JavaScript lesson hints and solution

The concepts are explained very well and there are links that provide additional information and resources. If you get stuck on any of the problems you can get help, and I liked that most of the time there was a multi-step hint area. This allowed you to start with a general hint to point you in the right direction, then a bit more direct information to help you along if still needed, and finally a warning that proceeding to the next hint would reveal the entire solution.

This tiering of help was so useful as most of the time a nudge is all that is needed to find the way to an answer on your own. Being able to take a hint use it to research and try the problem again, and then get another hint to research and try again before just being given the answer allows for you to learn so much more in the process.

My main goal for using freeCodeCamp was to solidify the skills I had acquired from my previous courses and going through the first two sections achieved this. Given that, I have not yet progressed to the remaining sections. However, I do plan to go back through some of the sections in order to deepen my knowledge, and it will definitely be one of the first places I look when I need to learn or review a concept.

If you are looking to get started in coding this would be top of my list as a resource. In fact, I would recommend you start here with the Responsive Web Design course to see if you like coding. Many people think they will like it but then once they get going realize that it's not quite what they were expecting. With freeCodeCamp you can try it out without anything to lose but your time.

If you discover that you do like coding and want to move forward after finishing that first section, then I would strongly recommend you check out the CS50 - Introduction to Computer Science course in order to get a good foundation in the fundamentals of coding as it will help tremendously as you progress in this program and beyond.

</> April 

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