Learning to code is just an important skill as learning to cook, ride a bike, learn a new language, or drive a car (well, cars may drive themselves in the future, but still…), and even if you don’t have any current plans to beomce a full fledged professional programmer or software engineer, there is a wealth of knowdlege to be gained from it that wil surely enrich your life, no matter what.
This week we’re featuring this fantastic initiative called FreeCodeCamp, where you can learn, practice, discuss with other students, try out your skills helping other non-profits orgs, and get, literally, almost 2000 hours of learning material. And it will cost you… absolutely nada, zero, zip, ziltch. It’s totally free.
Head on to FreeCodeCamp.org, click sign in (there’s a big yellow button on the front page) and start learning. You can sign up using your email, or your Google, GitHub or Facebook accounts. Whatever option you choose, you can dive into your first lesson in less than a minute. Much less, as a matter of fact.
All lessons are interactive, with a browser-based editor to learn by coding (so you need nothing else but your browser to start practicing), and a hint system and videos to help you out when you’re stuck. They also have quite an active forum with teachers and all levels of students to help you and exchange ideas.
As you go along through the interactive lessons, your progress can be reflected on certifications, from the basics of Responsive Web Design principles, to full stack certs for Algorithms and Data Structures, Front End Libraries, Data Visualization, APIs and Microservices and Information Security and Quality Assurance. There are literally hundreds of hours of lessons, about 300 hours on average for each of the certs. And the strawberry on top of that cake (yep, its better than cherry): thousands of hours more with coding challenges to prepare you for job interviews in case you chose to follow that dream.
So, can this make a software engineer out of you? No. Of course not. Only you can do that yourself. But it can lifting way, way, way up high above the average person and many so called coders, especially in matters regarding frontend development for web services, which is really the focus of the site. But since you can choose to learn plenty about APIs and Security, it will give you a nice overview on backends and servers as well.
FreeCodeCamp.org is a non-profit organizaton, and a small one at that. Taking into account the ammount and quality of material they provide, the work they do is indeed worth of applause. And if you love it as much as we do, please consider helping out with a donation. With as little as 5 bucks a month you can help to keep the Code Camp alive.
Give it a try, and let us know when you hit your first 300 hours milestone.
Have a good one.