Sounds like any coding boot camp, right? Wrong. FreeCodeCamp has some very important differences.
To start with, it’s completely online and completely self-paced. That means you can do it from anywhere in the world. Campers connect with each other in the various regional and general chat rooms on Gitter to help each other out, find people with whom to pair program, and just hang out and make friends. At the time of writing there are 106 080 of us, and the site hasn’t even been running for a full year yet.
It’s also free. All it will cost you is the cost of connecting to the internet. Most coding boot camps on this level can run into thousands of dollars to complete, including living costs.
It’s open-source. The entire 800-hour curriculum is in a public repository on GitHub, so anyone can copy, modify, and even contribute to it.
And it helps people. Not just the people getting a valuable education in our tech-centric world for free, but the 800 hours of practical full-stack projects are spent building real-life web-apps for non-profits that don’t have the funds to pay experienced web developers to do it. FreeCodeCamp students have saved various non-profits almost half a million dollars already.
And the bonus? It’s simple enough that you can do it even if you know nothing yet about coding.
I’ve just finished my first project – called Ziplines – towards the Front End development certificate. It’s a random quote machine. I originally wanted it to show Doctor Who quotes (my birthday illustrations had actually started out as part of the design for that project), but the BBC denied me copyright permission. (Serves me right for trying to follow the rules. I should have just used them without permission like GoodReads and a host of unofficial wikis do.)
So, I decided to use the most quotable person in the English language instead: the immortal bard, ole’ Billy Shakespeare. You can view my quote generator on CodePen.
It doesn’t yet work right on mobile browsers – still figuring that out – but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out thus far. The wife made the button, by the way, but I made it move.
If you have ever wanted to learn more about coding, even if only to use a little HTML or CSS to tweak how things look on your blog, give FreeCodeCamp a try. You might find coding becoming your new obsession like it did for me.
Disclaimer: This post is in no way endorsed, sponsored or requested by FreeCodeCamp.com. I wrote this because I think this site is great and want to make others aware of it. Please follow the various links provided in the text for more information.