Donating a Million Dollars to freeCodeCamp to Develop a Free, Carbon-Neutral Web3 Curriculum
by Nathan Flickinger
I am a freeCodeCamp alumnus. I learned to code on freeCodeCamp. I used these skills to build a profitable company.
Today, this company – KaijuKingz – is donating $1 million to freeCodeCamp to help them create even more free learning resources.
The freeCodeCamp community has helped me and thousands of other people learn to code by building projects. To set the scene for our donation, I would like to give you some context into my own developer journey – from stumbling upon freeCodeCamp to breaking into Web3.
This is my story.
From Tinkerer to Drop-Out
I was interested in programming from an early age. I would make simple IF-ELSE text-based adventure games for my girlfriend in high school. I guess in my mind, I was some sort of leet developer.
Unfortunately, my school didn't offer any paths to explore programming at the time. Despite this, I did my best to build my skills. I got heavily involved in a computer systems course that allowed students to get certifications like CompTIA, A+, and Net+.
When I was able to go to college, I decided to pursue a CS degree, but I quickly fell behind. Textbooks were expensive. I faced an overall lack of resources. I ended up dropping out.
After struggling with motivation and being homeless for a while, I resolved to get my life back in order.
Clawing My Way Back
I was able to leverage my CompTIA certification to land my first job as a minimum wage computer tech at a large retailer. I dove deeper and deeper into the field, and worked my way up with consistent effort.
I worked my way up to a level-two-support role in the IT department of a large health center. This is where I rediscovered my love for programming and began simple automation tasks. I started writing scripts in Visual Basic. PowerShell became my tool of choice for automating tasks. Little by little I grew into the field.
This is when I first considered learning to become a full-stack developer. I would research tools and dream of the day I could attend a coding bootcamp and become some super awesome full stack developer.
This is when I first discovered free resources like freeCodeCamp and the many YouTube channels that were teaching development. (Shout out to Sentdex <3).
In 2019, I completed the freeCodeCamp Responsive Web Design certification course. I would always check back on freeCodeCamp to read new tutorials and watch some of the new video courses the community created each day. It was fun, I was learning a ton, and it didn't cost me a single penny.
From My First Software Engineer Job to Starting My First Company
In 2020, I landed my first software engineering job working on an eCommerce platform. I continued to sharpen my skills.
Fast Forward to six months ago – I decided to dedicate all my time toward learning the Web3 space, with a focus on decentralization and community building. The result: KaijuKingz.
When creating KaijuKingz, my team decided to set aside some funds for other aspiring developers and creators to learn Web3. We planned on raising enough money to maybe send 3-4 people to a coding boot camp, hopefully change someone's life, and call it a day.
After our success, we realized we had the opportunity to impact more people's lives than we had initially planned. So we reached out to Quincy to discuss how we could leverage our funds and build a Web3 program for aspiring developers. We wanted to help people who were passionate about decentralization and community-owned technology.
We decided to go all-in with his team and their track record for developing effective courses and certifications accessible by anyone in the world.
Plans for the Upcoming freeCodeCamp Web3 Curriculum
This curriculum will ultimately provide around 300 hours of free learning to help people go from zero to hero with Web3. The only thing learners will need is access to a computer, and the discipline to complete the curriculum. freeCodeCamp's existing Web2 development curriculum will teach you all of the necessary prerequisite tools.
Quincy and I both feel strongly about the environment. And this curriculum will be carbon-neutral.
I have fundamentally changed my life by learning programming through free resources. Giving back to one of the most comprehensive and effective resources for learning programming (while helping upgrade their curriculum for the future) has given me a purpose. Instead of changing one person's life with this, we hope to change thousands of people's lives, and to bring new developers to the Web3 ecosystem.
Thank you to freeCodeCamp, to the KaijuKingz community who have supported us, and to everyone who's helping build the decentralized future.