The freeCodeCamp community is committed to helping busy adults learn to code. We already publish lots of technical articles here on Medium each week. And now we’re creating lots of instructional videos on freeCodeCamp’s YouTube channel.

This guide will show you how you can contribute to the freeCodeCamp YouTube channel. It’s already one of the top programming-focused channels, with over 200,000 subscribers. And our open source community is just getting started.

Contributing Captions and Translations

The easiest way to contribute to the channel is to provide captions and translations for our videos.

Even though all of our videos so far are in English, many people in our community do not speak English as their first language. Also, there are quite a few people learning to code who are completely deaf.

YouTube automatically creates captions for videos, but they aren’t very good. Some deaf members of the freeCodeCamp community jokingly refer to these auto-captions as “craptions.”

By contributing captions, you’ll be helping these developers better understand these videos. You’ll also make it easier for other contributors to translate these captions into other languages.

The first step to providing captions or translations is to navigate to a specific video that you want to help with. Next, click the gear icon in the bottom-right corner of the video. Select “Subtitles/CC,” then “Add Subtitles/CC.”

At this point, you select a language. This will usually be English, unless you want to provide a translation into another language.

If YouTube has auto-generated subtitles, they will show up. All you need to do is watch the video and edit the auto-generated subtitles (or blank text boxes) to make them more accurate.

After you finish, just click “Submit contribution.”

Creating Videos

We are also looking for video contributions. This is a great way to apply many of the things you’ve learned while showing off your proficiency with certain tools.

Your video should walk through the process of building a complete project, while teaching specific technology concepts along the way.

Some examples of good video titles are “Learn React by Making a Twitter Clone” or “Create a web app with Angular 4 and Firebase.”

The videos should be similar in quality to full courses you’d find on platforms like Udemy or Lynda.com. They should also follow as many following principles as possible:

  • You should teach subject matter through creating a complete project.
  • The video’s length should be between 30 minutes and 3 hours.
  • There should be smaller sections within the video, communicated through title cards like “Setting up the environment” or “deploying to AWS.”
  • Each section should be listed in the video’s description, along with a link to the specific time-code in the video. (For example, adding “3:31” in the video description will link to that part of the video.)
  • You should host your project code on GitHub. If applicable, there should be a directory for each section of the video, with files that show the state of the code during that section. Links to code should be included in the video’s description.
  • The introduction in the video should clearly communicate all prerequisite knowledge, and demonstrate how to set up the programming environment.

Besides these high-level requirements, we also want to make sure the video meets certain quality standards:

  • Audio quality should be at least as good as other videos on the channel.
  • You should remove any long pauses or mistakes (that don’t add anything to the instruction) during your editing process.
  • You should use consistent titles from the freeCodeCamp style guide.
  • Your instructions should be clear and simple enough for simple for viewers who already have the specified prerequisite skills to be able to follow.

Here are two videos that will give you an examples of what the community is looking for:

If you’re interested in creating YouTube video courses for the channel, e-mail [email protected] with your idea, detailed notes, or with a completed video.

Note that we are protective of the community members’ time, so we may have lots of constructive feedback or may not opt to publish your video. As video creators ourselves, we’ve made tons of videos that weren’t good enough to see the light of day.

Image credit

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I show my face in the corner using a webcam?

If you’re comfortable with this, then yes. This definitely improves your viewer’s comprehension. You can use a tool like OBS to superimpose your image in the lower-right hand corner of the screen during a screen cast.

During the video, can I alternate between screen-casting and explaining things visually, or on a white board?

Yes. Cody Seibert is particularly good at this.

Do I need to use a specific operating system or IDE?

You can use whatever tools you have on-hand and feel comfortable with.

Can I play music in the background?

We recommend not playing music since YouTube can auto-flag copyrighted music (sometimes in error) and that section of the video will become completely muted, often ruining the entire tutorial.

What resolution should I record at?

As high a resolution (and frame rate) as possible. YouTube will offer viewers the opportunity to choose their own resolution on playback.

Are you open to re-publishing courses that have already been released on other platforms?

Yes.

Again, send your ideas, notes, and finished videos to [email protected].

Thanks for reading!