One month ago I embarked on a challenge that many people told me was insane. I set out to conquer the entire freeCodeCamp curriculum. All while live streaming everything on my YouTube channel.
29 days, 56 Live Streams and 72 hours of live streams later...
First a Disclaimer
I'm a professional software engineer. I've been coding since 2013. And I had previous experience working with all of the technologies covered in freeCodeCamp's curriculum.
So this was easier for me than it would be for people who are just starting out. Most people spend months or even years earning these certifications.
Remember: It's not about how much time it takes you to complete freeCodeCamp's curriculum – it's about what you are learning along the way.
I created this series as a guide for anyone who gets stuck during the curriculum, and wants to watch how a relatively experienced software engineer would solve challenges and build projects.
This series of 72 hours of video covers the following topics:
- CSS Grid
- and more...
And I also build 30 projects along the way.
Below you'll find a list with all the videos nicely structured by certifications. ?
How did this crazy month of my life get started?
I've been planning to do this challenge for a while now. But it always seemed to be a HUGE one, which would take a lot of time to complete.
Apparently it didn't take months, as I initially thought. (And I'll tell you why in a moment.)
Before I started this challenge I ran the idea by freeCodeCamp's founder Quincy Larson to see whether he thought that this was something that could benefit the developer community. He was very encouraging.
freeCodeCamp has a "learn in public" culture, and a lot of people post their projects on the forum and on GitHub for feedback. And an increasing number of people live-stream themselves building these projects, too.
Quincy said not to worry about "spoiling" any of the challenges or projects. These are all the equivalent of "open notes tests." Students must write their own code, but they can look at other people's solutions for inspiration if they want.
Why Did I Choose freeCodeCamp's Certifications for This Challenge?
I have always recommended freeCodeCamp's curriculum to people who want to start learning web development.
Why? Well, the answer is very simple: it's the best free resource to get up and running with web development, in my opinion.
Now, even though it's a very good resource, people tend to quit along the way because they start to hit different roadblocks... and that's sad. ?
We want more people to finish the curriculum!
And here is where the Conquering freeCodeCamp's Curriculum challenge starts to shine. It gives everyone a follow-along playlist of videos in which I personally go through the entire curriculum, explaining what I'm thinking with each step I take. I also added my own comments and "bonus" explanations.
Every section on freeCodeCamp is covered in a single video. There are a total of 56 videos. (See below for a list of all the videos.)
My background and experience
I started learning how to code back in 2013. Since then I've worked as a freelance developer and held multiple software engineering jobs.
Last year I started to write articles on my blog. I also started creating YouTube coding tutorials. <shameless plug> Feel free to subscribe if you like these type of videos </shameless plug> ?.
It is safe to say that I already knew most of what you would learn on the platform, which gave me an advantage on conquering the curriculum in a month.
But, don't let this intimidate you. No matter your experience – no matter if it takes you years to finish the curriculum, just do it. I promise that you won't regret doing it.
I also worked A LOT to put out these Live Streams. Some days I recorded more than 5 hours. One day I even did 8 live streams and ended up completing an entire certification just in that day. ?
Why did I do that?
Well... most people would say that I'm either crazy or a robot.
I'm not a robot. But maybe a bit crazy? Yes. ?
The reason I pushed so hard was because I had plans to go on a vacation. And I wanted to have this all out before going. (Well... the vacation got canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. But I'm still happy to have gotten all this done.)
Also probably because I was excited about setting a new world record by finishing the whole curriculum in a single month.
Conquering freeCodeCamp - All the Recordings
Below you can find a list with all of the recordings – 56 in total.
Keep in mind that all of these were recorded in a series of live streams, so you might hear me answer questions received during the live stream from the chat. I also take breaks to do some deep thinking and even struggle to figure out some of the solutions (I'm not a robot after all ?).
All of this is perfectly normal for software developers. When devs get stuck, they often get up and take a break for a few hours – even a day. This can help you re-approach the problem with a fresh perspective.
I built all the projects on live streams (instead of just pre-recording) because I wanted it to be as close to real life as possible. I think this will be of greater value to you than me just walking you through my solutions.
I also created a Discord chat room server if you want to socialize with other people who are attempting this same freeCodeCamp curriculum challenge.
All right, enough talk. Here are all of the recordings. Enjoy! ?
Responsive Web Design Certification
Basic HTML and HTML5 - Live Stream #1
Basic CSS - Live Stream #2
Applied Visual Design - Live Stream #3
Accessibility and RWD Principles - Live Stream #4
Flexbox and CSS Grid - Live Stream #5
Build a Tribute Page (for Brad Traversy) - Live Stream #6
Build a Survey Form - Live Stream #7
Build a Product Landing Page - Live Stream #8
Build a Technical Documentation Page - Live Stream #9
Build a Personal Portfolio Webpage - Live Stream #10
Regular Expressions - Live Stream #14
Front End Libraries Certification
CSS Bootstrap - Live Stream #23
jQuery - Live Stream #24
SASS - Live Stream #25
ReactJS - Live Stream #26
Redux - Live Stream #27
React and Redux - Live Stream #28
Build a Random Quote Machine - Live Stream #29
Build a Markdown Previewer - Live Stream #30
Build a Drum Machine - Live Stream #31
Build a Calculator - Live Stream #32
Build a Pomodoro Clock - Live Stream #33
Data Visualization Certification
Data Visualization with D3 - Live Stream #34
JSON APIs and Ajax - Live Stream #35
Visualize Data with a Bar Chart - Live Stream #36
Visualize Data with a Scatterplot Graph - Live Stream #37
Visualize Data with a Heat Map - Live Stream #38
Visualize Data with a Choropleth Map - Live Stream #39
Visualize Data with a Treemap Diagram - Live Stream #40
APIs and Microservices Certification
Managing Packages with NPM - Live Stream #41
Basic Node and Express - Live Stream #42
Mongo and Mongoose - Live Stream #43
Timestamp Microservice - Live Stream #44
Request Header Parser Microservice - Live Stream #45
URL Shortener Microservice - Live Stream #46
Exercise Tracker - Live Stream #47
File Metadata Microservice - Live Stream #48
Information Security and Quality Assurance Certification
Information Security with HelmetJS - Live Stream #49
Quality Assurance and Testing with Chai - Live Stream #50
Advanced Node and Express - Live Stream #51
Metric-Imperial Converter - Live Stream #52
Issue Tracker - Live Stream #53
Personal Library - Live Stream #54
Stock Price Checker - Live Stream #55
Anonymous Message Board - Live Stream #56
What's next for me?
I will continue to create coding tutorials on my YouTube Channel. One of my main goals for 2020 is to reach 100,000 subscribers. (A crazy goal, I know, but... I think it's possible. What do you think? ?)
I'm also waiting for freeCodeCamp to release the 4 new Python certifications. Then I will work through those as a series of live streams, too.
Along with these, you'll also find me doing other live coding series.
Feel free to subscribe to my YouTube channel if you want to follow along with my journey. You can also follow me on Twitter. I'm pretty active there.
I hope you found this article interesting.
Happy Coding! ?