How do you prepare someone for their first coding job while they’re still working full-time or raising kids? And do it completely in a browser? For free? Well, here’s how we’re doing it:
Our Waypoints are single-sitting coding lessons. We don’t use tutorials or Lynda-style video series. We use fast-paced, fully interactive lessons. They “hold your hand” and help you rapidly establish a baseline proficiency that you’ll expand upon in our practice projects. Rather than create our own lessons, we’ve curated the best lessons from around the web, from providers like Stanford, Codecademy and Node School. You’ll learn all this, in this sequence:
- Computer Science
- Chrome DevTools
- Node Package Manager
Our waypoints include Codecademy’s new HTML, CSS and Bootstrap primer, as well as their new Angular.js course and also Node School. Setting up a Node.js development environment on your computer is a pain, especially if you’re using Windows or a ChromeBook. It’s impossible to do on a tablet. We’ve figured out ways to quickly get Node School lessons running in Cloud 9's browser-based code editor.
CodePen doubles as front end development portfolio. It’s another way to get discovered. When your app gets featured on the front page of CodePen, thousands of developers, and potential employers, will see it.
Congrats to camper Geoff Storbeck (pictured below in the Basejumps section) for making it onto the front page of @CodePen! http://t.co/zZAxbJSBm6 #LearToCode pic.twitter.com/C7UUiNdstG — Free Code Camp (@FreeCodeCamp) April 25, 2015
Our goal is to simulate the experience of sitting down in front of a blank page. Basejumps crank up the ambiguity even further, forcing you to make an array of implementation and design decisions. Thanks to tools like Github, Heroku and Cloud 9, you can build these apps and deploy them to the internet from literally any device with a browser.
By this point, you will have:
- 200 hours of algorithm scripting practice, and your own solutions to a hundred of the most common “white board” job interview questions
- 200 hours of front end development practice, and more than a dozen single-page apps on CodePen
And this is just the half-way point!
Don’t let anyone tell you learning to code is easy. Learning to code takes time and hard work. But with our rigorous curriculum — and our supportive community — you can get good enough at coding to land your first coding job in about 1,600 hours. You don’t need to quit your job or pay some school a bunch of money. You just need to sit down and do the work.
Originally published at blog.freecodecamp.com on April 25, 2015.