Beginner Programmer Questions

Hey guys, I am new to freeCodeCamp and got the first 2 challenges completed. I would like to get your opinion on a couple things.

I opted out of a $10K Code bootcamp for freeCodeCamp and plan on completing the front end development certificate.

  1. After completing the Front end certificate, do you then just pick a language to become an expert in? Or how do you transition from this course to picking a language or two to focus on?

  2. On a scale from 1-Hireable where does one sit after completing the front end development certificate? Sorry, Im sure this has been asked multiple times.

  3. For all you full-time programmers, how open would you be to mentoring a new programmer in your free time? I am more curious as I think it would be good idea for me to find someone skilled in my city that would be willing to lead me in the right direction.

Any help or insight is appreciated. Thank you guys.


  1. The expectation is that after the front end certificate you continue with the back end section. FCC is a full stack web development curriculum.

  2. The front end certificate is not meant to be a stopping point. While there is work that you can do with only that level of knowledge, I wouldn’t consider someone “career ready” at that point.

  3. I and several other full-time programmers are here on the forums daily to help mentor students. Feel free to ask any questions that come up. I do suggest connecting with other people in your area. If you’re lucky, there might be a strong FCC group in your city. There might be a number of other interest groups in your area as well.

I highly recommend checking out P1xt’s guides for further guidance.


Thanks Ariel! Appreciate the insight.

To add my own two cents to Ariel’s excellent answer:

  1. The FCC curriculum is in essence a specialization. On the front end, every developer is using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, regardless of what specialized path you choose. All paths start with those three. FCC also delves into Bootstrap and jQuery, but those are so common as to practically be required learning for any front end dev. Beyond that, FCC deals with React, which is a specialization (as opposed to Angular or Vue, etc.)

On the back end, there are many viable options. FCC focuses on Node (JavaScript on the backend) but there are other options (PHP, Python, C#, Ruby, etc.). Each backend language has it’s own strengths and weakness. FCC chooses Node. Most backends have a “stack”, a collection of complementary technologies. The FCC backen focuses on the MEN stack - Mongo for database, Express for handling APIs and routing, and Node as a base language. When you pair that with React for the frontend, you get a “full stack”, in this case, the MERN stack. It’s also very common to pair it with Angular, getting a MEAN stack.

FCC focuses on the MEN stack, but with the React you learn, also for the MERN stack. There are other stacks out there with their own strengths and weaknesses, but this is what FCC focuses on.

  1. How hireable on a scale of 1-10? If you started off at 1, knowing nothing and completed the FCC training, I would (and this is a complete BS guess) say around 2-5, depending on your location, age, drive, etc. As Ariel points out, you are expected to keep learning. FCC is a launching point to get you a lot of basic knowledge. It takes you from “clueless” to “OK, I sort of know what’s going on and see where I need to keep learning”. You still need to do some hard work to apply these skills, learn new ones, and build a portfolio. The portfolio is what will attract employers, not certificates. But FCC will get you started with some simple portfolio pieces and will give you the skills to get started making some better ones.

Anyone that tells you their certificate will get you a job is after your money. PM me about my magic beans.

  1. It might be hard to find someone to mentor you in the sense of “take you under their wing and devote hours and hours to teach and guide you.” Yes, you might find someone interested in giving you some advice. As Ariel says, P1xt’s guides are wonderful. You also might check coding meetups in your area (e.g., check And of course this forum is an excellent reference. The other option is getting hired somewhere as an intern or junior dev and get some guidance from a senior dev - if you’re lucky enough.

All in all, I’d say to just put in the time. People see these boot camps and think Ah! I’ll do the bootcamp and then I’ll get hired. It is more like climbing a mountain and you think you see the peak but when you get to it you see that they real peak is higher still. And when you get to that one …

Coding is a life time commitment. In some sense you will never get to the top - the web dev world keeps evolving. But if you work hard you will make progress and gradually become hireable. That, combined with a little luck, will eventually land you a job. Maybe it will be when you finish FCC. Some people even have landed an entry level position before finishing FCC. Most people finish FCC and then keep learning and developing as coders. People that don’t give up eventually get the job.

And there are a lot of coders of various strengths and experience here. Feel free to ask for guidance.

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Wow Kevin, this helps out a lot. Thank you so much.

I will keep all this in mind. Thanks for the helpful info.

Love this. Stealing it.

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bootcamp industry is full of guys selling magic beans. beware of them, and also trust in what you can accomplish with your own effort.

Can anyone spot why my #container layout isn’t filling the entire page? The width is auto and fits the screen long ways, but vertical it won’t fill the whole page.

Also, my background pic under the body CSS, is maxed out and won’t auto fit the screen. Its at like 2500px seems like.