Wondering if Free Code Camp is for me…

I’m in the middle of blogging about the Pomodoro Calculator project I just finished yesterday.  As I was finishing that project, news broke that Free Code Camp had made another change to their curriculum.  One of the major focus was updating their challenges, with most of the changes affecting the four I have recently been working on.  When I started working on these, the four “Basic Front End Projects” were:

  1. Build a Personal Portfolio Webpage
  2. Build a Random Quote Machine
  3. Build a JavaScript Calculator
  4. Build a Pomodoro Clock

After the changes, there are only two Basic Front End Projects – the personal portfolio and a new “Tribute Page” project, which is a basic HTML page with some images.  I completely agree with the addition of this new, more basic project to kick things off.

What happened to the quote machine, calculator, and pomodoro clock projects?  The quote machine is now one of four Intermediate Front End Projects, and the calculator and pomodoro clock are two of the four Advanced Front End Projects.

This isn’t the first time Free Code Camp has changed their curriculum, and won’t be the last, but I’m starting to think that this continual moving target is not the best way to learn.  I’ve mentioned before the quote from Free Code Camp themselves, which says:

“…no one has actually completed our entire program, because campers get jobs before they’re able to.”

I’m starting to think that the main reason no one has completed the entire program is because the authors can’t keep the curriculum stable long enough for anyone to finish it.

As I was snooping around looking for information on the Free Code Camp changes, I ran across a disheartening post from another camper regarding the node.js section of the Free Code Camp curriculum.  The most poignant comment was the header of the reddit comment: “I have just finished the node.js tutorials on freeCodeCamp. I still know nothing about node.js.”

This has been my fear all along with these rushed-out, ramp-up inexperienced programmer-focused curricula.  And that, unfortunately, seems to be where Free Code Camp is at right now.

Still, that doesn’t take away from the great community that Free Code Camp has fostered, nor does it tarnish the leadership of Quincy Larson, who continues to do great things promoting coding education.  Despite its faults, Free Code Camp will continue to get better, and will hopefully help many folks take their first steps in web development.

Unfortunately for me, it seems a ill fit.


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