In June after I read through some blogposts from ashbotandsparki, I found one where she reblogged a short post from sounjawalters that described how the curriculum of a site called freeCodeCamp has been growing since she visited it the first time.
I had not heard about this site before and reminded myself to have a look sometime, it seemed interesting. Then I did other things and forgot about it. A week ago, I remembered and actually had a look at the site, registered and started to walk through the first steps on the curriculum.
So, how do I become a web developer?
While I was doing this, I realized, that this site fills a gap that only now I am starting to see clearly: It provides a full curriculum from not knowing any html to being employable as a full-stack web developer. How can that be a gap with so many online courses on sites like Coursera, EdX and others? Becaust most of these sites do what Universities also do: they provide some courses about some topics, sometimes with very high quality and the possibility to really dive deep and learn a lot, but they do not provide any insight into what you will need to really work in the field of web development or similar fields. Offline there are some courses that take care of this by providing a full introduction into all that you need to work in a short time (measured in months, the working hours you have to put in there are of course a lot). Many of them go under the label “bootcamp”. freeCodeCamp is the first online course of this kind that I visited and it seems to be legit and well thought through:
So to be fair, freeCodeCamp is not the only site that provides this sort of complete employability related curriculum: by looking through the learning resources on CodeNewbie, a web community primarily for people who are at the beginning of their coding career, I found the Odin Project, which is not the same as fCC but very similar and Udacity is also working on a curriculum for full-stack web development (not for free).
So, will it be enough? I don’t know, because I am not a web developer and also not someone hiring web developers, but I think that the amount of work (around 1600 hours) you have to put into the full curriculum sound plausible and the parts I have seen so far make a lot of sense.
Of course there are questions and possible downsides:
- Is this thing called “full-stack” developer even possible with the current technologies?
- Is it fair to the non-profits to have people with no real expertise work for projects, they depend on?
- On the other hand: Is it for to the students to have them work for free in a line of work that is usually well paid?
As for me: I am glad, that I tried it and I will probably use it to learn the full craft after years of learning a bit here and a bit there.