The next Coffee & Code is coming up next weekend. After Daniel gave us an introduction to Linux at the last meetup, we again have a topic we will focus on. This time, it will be React.js, the powerful front end framework that is developed at Facebook and powering it’s user interface. If that sounds interesting to you, come join us!
If you have a topic to suggest to focus on in one of the upcoming meetups, let us know in the Free Code Camp Berlin Facebook group.
After a long break, it’s time to post something again. This Saturday, the freeCodeCamp Berlin group had it’s 13th “official” meetup. And by official, I mean “announced as a Facebook event”. There’s been other times where I, as the main organizer, as well as other group members informally met up to learn coding together on short notice. There’s also been times among these 13 when nobody showed up though. Time for a first evaluation!
My own path to become a developer in Berlin probably cannot be “replicated” easily: I relied on the help and generosity of other people, which I knew for more or less long, and also got lucky to be accepted in the end, even though I was not on a high skill level yet, probably simply because I am – and make the impression to be – eager and able to learn more.
I do think, however, that it is not rocket science to become a developer here. There is demand, as well as a lot of help and opportunities to get in contact with the right people. Today at the Free Code Camp Berlin meetup, we talked about some things that improve your chances.
Time for another update on my progress with freeCodeCamp, which will probably be the last update for the next 2, 3 months or so. I did not get give up on learning to code or, I just decided to follow a different approach for a while. More on that later, first my last bits of progress!
Since the last update a month ago, I made some progress, yet not quite as much as I liked. This is probably because I now moved beyond the very basic programming concepts and skills, which I have worked with multiple times, even in different programming languages, in PHP, Pascal, Basic and partly also in Python. In other words, I got to the content now that is more or less completely new to me, like proper frameworks and, in the current bonfire, more advanced things with objects than simply adding to or creating them. Learning new stuff obviously takes a bit more time and effort than merely repeating what you already know, even if it is in a different programming language, or a somewhat more complicated application of the same concepts.
Time for another update on my freeCodeCamp progress: I am now close to completing the CS101 course on Stanford courseware, which are the challenges 18 to 23 on freeCodeCamp – one for each week of the course, bascially. The content is quite easy or basic, at least for people that have been interested in – although not necessarily super-knowledgeable about – computers for a while, like me. This surprised me, because I remember trying to do a Harvardx course a longer time ago that was considerably harder to really get into. Might have been because my motivation was different, or because it was actually a slightly more advanced or ambitious course. As I do not remember which course it was, I can’t really find out easily now. Anyways, here are the things I like, want to criticise and found interesting about this part of freeCodeCamp, starting with the negatives.
My progress on freeCodeCamp has been “so-so” lately. I been busy with a linear programming project, basketball, and the usual random distractions. That’s also why I originally did not plan to write an update just yet, but rather in a week or so, hoping that I would have more to tell by then. Since there’s other news now, I will give a short update now already anyways.
I’m currently on challenge 14, learning more about Chrome Developer Tools. While this is not the first time I heard about or used Developer Tools, it’s definitely helpful to get a deeper into the topic, beyond trying to figure out what is broken on a page etc.. Compared to the lessons on jQuery, I find it a lot more interesting. Now I just need to find the time to make real progress on this. This challenge is originally a stand-alone course on Code School and therefore can also be done “independently”.
Talking about Code School, this brings me to the main reason for writing this post: A decent share of the challenges on freeCodeCamp are from Code School and thusfar, I am quite satisfied with them. Earlier today, Jonas has told me about the paid content on Code School being free until Friday (due to an acquisition by Pluralsight). Since this offer ends in about… 76 hours, at the time of writing this, I had to write about it now, to let you know in time! 😉
Pluralsight, who I had not heard of before, also offers free access until Friday. I do not know the paid content on Code School (yet) and whether it is really “worth it”, but this seems like the best opportunity to find out.
This blog, I (re-)started before the end of 2014 already. The decision to start again I already made a few months ago, I picked a theme then, and finally in the last days of the year, I actually published the first posts.
freeCodeCamp I first read about some months ago and then was reminded of it by, some time later, by someone* else. I decided I wanted to give a try, but it took me until the beginning of this year until I seriously got started. Basically as if it was my New Years resolution to start with it – except it was not. Rather coincidence that I was still a bit busy before and then finally had time to get started. Now, to “hold myself accountable”, and to advertise or criticise freeCodeCamp – let’s see how it goes – I have decided to also write about my “journey” here, too. But before, I will also tell you something about my own history of learning to code.
* Jonas from Stackademy, if I remember correctly.