DEV Community

Piyush Malhotra
Piyush Malhotra

Posted on

The Beginner-friendly way to learn from FreeCodeCamp on YouTube.

FreeCodeCamp is one of the best places online for anyone who wants to learn programming and computer science concepts from scratch. You don’t need to spend a dime and they give you over 3000 hours of tutorials, exercises, and projects which are surely going to teach you enough to land an entry-level developer job. But how exactly one should learn from FCC on Youtube?

The thing about freecodecamp is - On YouTube, the videos won’t be structured step by step as compared to some other platform, let's say Udemy which follows more of a “Bootcamp-y” method. This might prove overwhelming to some people who want to start learning as it did to me. Now, don’t get me wrong, one can learn a lot by following FCC’s youtube videos, they have a ton of content that is not on their website as well. But for beginners, an unguided approach might be a little daunting.

This article acts as a guide for beginners as to where should people start learning from FCC’s youtube channel and gives you some tips to reduce clutter and focus only on the things that you require. But keep in mind that in the future you will require lots of googling and researching so do not limit your learning to just one resource. As of now, let’s dive into it…

1. Sort by “Most Popular”

No, really. Just sort the videos by popularity. The reason for this is that so many people have watched and liked that video so there must be something good in it, right? Precisely. It’s going to declutter the barrage of information in front of you so that you can focus only on what’s important.
Sorted by Popularity

2. Choose a Programming Language (Beginner Videos)

No doubt in this one, you have to get your feet wet and for that, you need at least one language in your “backpack”. Clearly, with 28 million views, Python is the most popular language (also worldwide) which is easy to learn and beginner-friendly but don’t feel forced if you don’t want to. Do some research, read up some stuff, and choose whatever you think you feel comfortable in. Out of the videos above, you should go first for the beginner videos in Python, Javascript, Java, C, or C++ which are usually considered the “Big 5” of programming languages.
Popular languages

3. Establishing the fundamentals

This is the critical point where everyone usually makes mistakes just like I did. You just watched a 4-hour video on a language and now you feel like you can move on to something else, you’re a geek now, right? Wrong! You cannot learn swimming just by watching someone execute a butterfly stroke ever so graciously. After finishing whatever language you just learned, it is time to apply that knowledge by building something. The best way to do this is to watch a “Build Projects” video from the channel and either code along or recreate it after, either way, you must polish the concepts that you have learned in step 2 (We become better by staying consistent).
Watch, Learn, Practice & Build !!

Build anything, copy the project's lines while understanding the concept, go back to the video if you’re stuck, do some creative “googling” and keep on making a bunch of stuff until you are confident you can move on.

4. Second Language

Now it's time to move on to another language and try on those projects that made using this new language. It will teach you how to work with multiple languages and also the basic differences between various syntax and functionalities. More importantly, it will make you more adaptable because, in a professional environment, you are gonna have to work with multiple technologies at one point or another. The main objective of this step is to teach how to understand the syntax of various languages and read different kinds of code properly.

5. Other Essential Skills

You probably have enough practice and mini-projects under your belt now that you can start looking at some intermediate as well as advanced skills. It’s time to do more research now and expand your backpack, you could learn about computer networking, operating systems, database management (SQL), scripting, Linux, version control, data structures, and algorithms, and many other tools that help in the development. A simple google search will show you the essential skills required from a software developer apart from programming. Keep in mind that you should be always practicing whatever you are learning currently and, it WILL help you in one way or another as a developer. All these 5 steps should take you about 3–6 months depending on your time, availability, and choice of topics. Study hard and succeed!!
Keep Learning!

6. The World is your Oyster — Keep Learning

It is time to choose a specialization in which you want to work professionally. Want to create games for a living? Want to design jaw-droppingly beautiful websites? Want to train computers to predict data? The options are in dozens and some of the growing industries include Web Development, Cybersecurity, DevOps, Full Stack Dev, Game Development, Data Science, Machine Learning, UI/UX, and many more. If you are thinking that you need to learn “everything” before having a job, I’m afraid you are wrong. There are so many technologies and tools that are popping up every day it's practically impossible to keep up! You could study for 100 years and still not feel that you know enough (Avoid the Imposter Syndrome).

Time to do some creative googling again. Do some research, join communities and subreddits about programming, ask questions about industries, start focusing on other resources for learning. Here is a simple roadmap sketch of the whole learning plan.
Learning Path

Well, there you have it, a simple guided plan for those who want to start learning from FreeCodeCamp’s Youtube Channel. What’s the next step? You could probably start tackling some junior developer roles while keeping on improving. Note that people can follow it along with other resources as well, this article is just for those who do not know where to start and prefer using FreeCodeCamp videos.

The resources are endless and my aim to write this article was to help declutter the learning path for the absolute beginners. I’ll put up a bunch of more stuff and resources to follow in the coming future. Thanks for reading folks!! If I missed some important steps then feel free to let me know and I will surely make the changes in the article.

Top comments (0)