by Evaristo Caraballo

The 12 YouTube videos new developers mention the most

A still from Shia LaBeouf’s motivational video, one of the most commonly shared videos in freeCodeCamp’s chatrooms.

The freeCodeCamp community generates gigabytes of data each week. One of the most active parts of the community is the chat room system. Thousands of people hang out there, chat about technology, and help each other improve their code skills.

I frequently ask questions about the data. This week, I was curious which YouTube videos people found to be the most relevant to their studies. So I analyzed the multi-gigabyte chat history from freeCodeCamp’s main chatroom.

Out of the thousands of YouTube videos mentioned, here are the 12 most-commonly mentioned ones.

What the heck is the event loop anyway?

This was a presentation by Philip Roberts at JSConf EU in 2014. The event loop is important to how Node.js works.

To explain the event loop, Philip goes through other essential concepts like callbacks, and asynchronous programming. He jams a ton of insight into an enjoyable 26 minute conference talk.

Engineering Truth’s How to teach yourself to code

Engineered Truth host Matt Tran interviews freeCodeCamp’s Quincy Larson, asking him for about tips for new coders.

A lot of new coders first heard about freeCodeCamp through this 20-minute video, which has been viewed half a million times.

Another interview Matt Tran conducted with Quincy on the same afternoon — which is also frequently shared in our chat rooms — is Computer science vs Self-taught vs Coding Bootcamp.

Coding Tutorials 360°’s Build a personal portfolio — Part 1

Dylan Israel runs a YouTube channel called Coding Tutorials 360°.

In this series of videos, he builds some of freeCodeCamp’s projects. In the chat room the most popular video of that series is freeCodeCamp’s portfolio project.

After recording this, Dylan earned his freeCodeCamp Front End Development certificate and landed a full-time job doing web development.

/Reg(exp){2}lained/: Demystifying Regular Expressions

This 48-minutes talk by Lea Verou comes from O’Reilly's 2012 Fluent Conference.

It’s a good summary of what Regular Expressions are, how they work, where to apply them, some very common errors made by new adopters, and tricks that people tend to forget or ignore.

Semicolons cannot save you!

Video #9 in the FunFunFunction series by Mattias Petter Johansson. Here he talks about the role of semicolons in JavaScript.

Derek Banas’s JavaScript tutorial

This 2-hour-long tutorial uses examples to introduce JavaScript concepts, and how to manipulate the DOM. Derek provides an index in the description of the video so you can jump to specific segments that interest you.

Note that he recorded this in 2015, so it doesn’t include the latest ES6 improvements to JavaScript.

O’Reilly’s Keeping Track of This in JavaScript

This 13-minute video belongs to O'Reilly’s JavaScript Teasers series. It explains the often confusing JavaScript this keyword.

Note that this was recorded in 2014, and doesn’t include the latest ES6 improvements to JavaScript.

Javascript: Understanding the weird parts

This video frames the first 3.5 hours of a popular course in Udemy taught by Toni Alicea.

The complete course is more than 11 hours of videos, but it’s not free. The course has been known to go for as low as $15 dollars during Udemy’s sales, though.

Chris the Freelancer’s How I learned to code

Chris the Freelancer taught himself web development, then recorded this 8-minute video explaining how he did it.

He encourages people who want to learn on their own to use free platforms, though he says there can sometimes be value in paid courses.

2016/2017 must-known web development tech

LearnCode.academy created this overview of what they think web developers should learn in 2017.

How to become a Master Web Developer

Stefan Mischook, a seasoned developer, talks about what you need to become an expert web developer.

How Do You Get Enough Experience to Apply for Programming Jobs?

Eli the Computer Guy discusses why you need to apply to as many jobs as possible — even if you don’t feel qualified.

The most-mentioned non-programming YouTube videos

As a bonus, here are some extremely popular videos that aren’t directly related to learning web development.

Shia Labeouf “Just do it” motivational speech

Possibly the funniest motivational video ever made. The original video, and its many variants, have been popular in freeCodeCamp’s chat rooms since the video was first published on YouTube.

Write in C

A parodical lyric with the music of Beatles' "Let it be". The parody seems to have been sung for the first time during the 90's when C started to become the language of preference by computer scientists. Authorship is unknown but a version was brought forward by Albert Veli. Sing along!

I’m not going to tell you what this video is. You’ll have to click here and see for yourself.

Yes, this is one of the most commonly linked-to videos in the chat room.

If you clicked the link, congratulations. You have been Rickrolled.

The Mess We’re In

A presentation by Joe Armstrong, one of the inventors of Erlang, at the Strangeloop Conference in 2014. This video focuses on some of the hardest problems in computer science.

The “Java Life” rap music video

A humorous rap video filled with stereotypes about programmers.

freeCodeCamp’s Nonprofit Project Demos

People frequently link to this playlist of some of the nonprofit projects built by freeCodeCamp alumni.

In case you’re wondering, all the data was obtained from freeCodeCamp’s main Gitter chatroom between June 2016 and March 2017. I ran a Python script to evaluate the data, then rated the observed YouTube links based on the number of mentions as well as how recent the mentions were. I made the final selection based on relevance.

Again, this list just scratches the surface. freeCodeCamp’s community references hundreds of YouTube videos every day.

I also invite you to check out the excellent content that is available in the freeCodeCamp youtube channel.

Thanks for reading, and happy coding!