I started FCC earlier this month and I’m loving it.
I do have one suggestion though for how the challenge console is constructed for each lesson. I’m not sure if a mod may see this or not but I did search briefly for a Contact section yet couldn’t find one.
Similar to bowling, there’s an option to raise the railings on the side to prevent newbies from constantly getting a gutter ball.
When analyzing the code for a challenge, the code already informs you as to where to edit/create code. (Edit this line, Edit below this line and above this line). While this is a great feature and I’m sure reduces the learning curve exponentially, it also reduces the learners training opportunity to analyze and comprehend code structure/syntax/logical order.
So my suggestion is to be able to turn the “bumpers” on or off depending on the learners preference.
This is an interesting idea, but I am not sure about the implementation.
Currently, the challenge pages are stored as .md files in our GitHub repository and consist of specific sections that determine the page content on our /learn platform. One of those sections, the challenge seed, is used to determine the pre-filled “boilerplate” code for the given lesson.
Now, it might be possible to add a second section that excludes the comments, but sometimes those comments are present not only to indicate where to write the code but where not to write the code. There are challenges where the tests rely on a specific structure in the boilerplate, and modifying that structure can cause things to fail erroneously.
That all being said, I’m not sure that this is something to be added to the roadmap as we are working on a new project-based curriculum. However, I am definitely open to discussing it if other folks wish to chime in.
I understand where you are coming from with the “bumpers” solution. I think earlier on the curriculum there is a lot of (Edit this line, Edit below this line and above this line). But for me personally I found that as you move through the certifications it starts to happen less and less. That is just my experience though.
As @nhcarrigan mentioned the FCC curriculum is moving to an all project based curriculum. So eventually the challenges will be replaced.
If you want to learn more you can read about it in Quincy’s post.
The new project-based curriculum will have bumpers (as you call them). Some of the projects have over 100 lines of code, so we must focus the user to a specific area as we will be teaching very specific syntax/concepts through very granular steps. Most steps might have the user only writing a single line. For some steps we will make the bumpers wider for concepts/syntax that have already been introduced. The user will still be able to experiment with the other code on the page. We are trying to design the steps such that the tests will become less dependent on what the user writes outside these bumpers. Once launched, I am sure we will make adjustments to these bumpers as we get feedback.