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George M
George M

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My frontend dev learning journey, part 1: how it's going

January 14th 2022, I decided enough is enough. This is the year I will finally become what I've dreamt of for some time: a web developer. As my bio here says, I have a bachelor's degree in food science & technology (and am currently studying for my master's in bioprocess engineering), but after a relentless job hunt and a short-lived job in the industry, I realized I don't really like working as a food scientist - I enjoyed studying all about it, but the industry was not what I had imagined as a freshman. Low pay, rare job postings, and far away location of the food plants were my top 3 reasons to stop searching for a job in my field. So, I decided to start learning programming/dev stuff, and to jump ship!

A quick google search pointed me to endless reddit threads with a few strong recommendations: The Odin Project, Freecodecamp, and some Udemy courses.

As I had some previous HTML/CSS experience (or, at least, I thought that I did), I decided to join Freecodecamp (FCC for short), and started learning all about JavaScript there. At the same time, I stumbled upon a not-that-famous resource, called "watch and code" and started following along the (very) well explained videos. The watch and code guy had a special way of teaching JS - you make a todo app, but through versions - so, version 1 is very simple, where you try to learn what console.log() does, and then it ramps up from there, you learn about the classic stuff (integers, operations, strings, loops, arrays, functions, objects), and apply the knowledge to make your todo app more and more functional. As of writing this blog, I stopped at version 10, because I realized that my HTML knowledge was lacking, but I plan to pick it back up soon!

I finished most of the "JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures" course on FCC in a month and a half. I have nothing bad to say about this course, it teaches you the basics of JS programming very well, but it doesn't teach you a lot about researching on your own, using the console, debugging, using an editor and creating your own files, etc.

In the meantime, I also started The Odin Project (foundations), to refresh/update my HTML/CSS knowledge, and I'm currently finishing up the CSS section, which taught me a lot of neat tips and tricks. Next up is the JS section, which I should be starting in a few days, and that should conclude the foundations part. I also plan on trying out their Full Stack JS course afterwards. Basically, where FCC was lacking, The Odin Project shines: you learn the basics of git/github at the start, they provide some additional material for you to research on your own (and to learn to read documentation), they promote good practice of using VS code and they also push for using Linux (although it's not necessary for a complete beginner to do so, you can do all the exercises on your Windows/Mac machine).

So that's what I've been doing the last 4-ish months. I could have probably done all this a bit faster, but I had some personal time breaks a couple of times (a few days at a time), and sometimes my uni work eats up the time I would normally spend learning/coding, but I'm taking it one step at a time, and trying to absorb and really understand everything I'm doing.

Discussion (2)

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Andrew Baisden

Good luck on your coding journey!

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George M Author

Thank you very much!