by Catherine Vassant (aka Codingk8)

How I made the most out of my freeCodeCamp journey

My road map ?️ to freeCodeCamp beyond the curriculum

A year ago, as I was finishing my bootcamp, a friend introduced me to freeCodeCamp and I knew I had just found a great tool to help me reach my goals.

For those who don’t know about it, freeCodeCamp is this tiny-yet-impressively-effective non-profit that’s teaching people to code for free.

It does so through an online curriculum of interactive step-by-step challenges. It is organized into six thematic certifications that form a big full-stack one. I recently got my JavaScript certification ??‍? and couldn’t feel happier about it!

This curriculum is followed by tens of thousands of people around the world. Their Medium channel is Medium’s largest technical publication. These two are the main front doors to the freeCodeCamp universe.

But there’s more to explore, and I wish I had discovered all of this earlier.

Let’s dive in together!

Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash

1. The weekly newsletter

Once you’ve created your freeCodeCamp curriculum account, in your account settings, you’ll find this inconspicuous line and you can move the button to “On”.

Quincy Larson’s email is always short yet packed with great articles to read and resources to uncover.

I strongly suggest you give it a try.

2. The YouTube channel

For reasons I cannot explain, it took me a while to find out about this channel and the videos that complement the curriculum.

A personal favorite these days? “JavaScript and the HTML DOM” by Beau Carnes.

You don’t want to miss it.

3. The Guide

The freeCodeCamp Guide is this “everything-you’ve-always-wanted-to-know-about-code-but-were-afraid-to-ask” base of knowledge that hides behind the curriculum.

It is what displays when you click on a challenge “Get a hint” button.

Yet, in alphabetic order, from Accessibility to XML (Extended Markup Language), it contains much more than just the sum of all the challenges hints.

It is definitely a place you want to check when some kind of tricky code question pops in your head.

There’s even a “Book recommendations” page just because we can be coders AND like books. ???

4. The Forum

Almost in the same situation as the Guide, the Forum also hides a bit behind the Curriculum and offers a lot more than you’d think.

It is what displays when you click on a challenge “Ask for help” button.

It has its own sign in access and welcomes you into the freeCodeCamp community where you can connect with other Campers, discuss different tech questions, ask for help and for feedback.

With the “You can do this!” and the “Getting a developer job” sections, it’s also a great place to share support and/or motivation.

5. The News section

Just next to the Curriculum, the Guide and the Forum, the freeCodeCamp site has a News section full of interesting articles.

Just like for the Youtube channel, it took me months to discover it, and now I’m addicted.

Another place to check when looking for coding resources.

6. The coolest thing: a code radio ?

It is right here and the description speaks better than anything else: “24/7 concentration music for programmers”.

How not to love that?!

7. The podcast

Interviews with inspiring people about code/tech/startup.

To be honest, I haven’t started listening yet but cannot wait for the moment I’ll make time for it.

8. Social media

You can find freeCodeCamp on Facebook and on Twitter.

To add some Camp magic on your professional visibility, freeCodeCamp is also on LinkedIn. You can follow it, add it to any section of your profile, and also join the alumni group.

On the tech side, there’s also a freeCodeCamp group on Reddit to connect with other Campers.

9. More?

I would think so. There are a few other things you may stumble upon when you go from student to contributing member, but that’s another story.

As a bonus, I’ll mention the #100DaysOfCode collective motivation challenge led by Alexander Kallaway on Twitter.

It’s a fun and benevolent way to keep yourself on track and meet lots of great people doing the same thing along the way.

All details are in this Medium post and on the 100DaysOfCode website.

So proud I’ll reach first round 40 days soon.

+ If like me, you started coding after 30 years old, you’ll want to read this article by Quincy Larson with so many inspiring stories we can relate to.

And the freeCodeCamp galaxy is expanding. What next?

As explained by Quincy Larson in this post, 2019 is about 3 main projects.

  1. The multi-lingual freeCodeCamp in Arabic, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish to help people learn in their mother-tongue.
  2. A classroom mode to help teachers use freeCodeCamp more easily.
  3. Better tools for local study groups in cities around the world.

I must say the third one lights sparkle in my eyes. I’d love to join a freeCodeCamp group in Paris! Who’s with me?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Before we wrap this up, did I mention freeCodeCamp is open-source and a non-profit?

It lives and expands thanks to the time and money given by people like you and me.

If this article inspired you, you can learn more about open-source contribution here and here, and about financial support on this page. If you’re willing to give, be sure every penny will help!

Thank you for reading!

If you enjoyed this article, please “hands-clap” as many times as you like and share it to help other people find it. That may make their day.

If you have a reaction/question/suggestion, be sure to leave a comment below. I’ll be glad to read from you!

You can also get in touch and/or follow me on Twitter.