Confusion about being a self-taught developer

Hi all campers,

I’m doing FCC challenges since last July but took some breaks. Now I did first 4 API projects on Frontend section. And I was lost around web. I bought Colt Steele’s Udemy course and done with all the way javascript. But now I have a confusion because of one of my CS degree friend.

He told me that Web is dying I can do everything to you with And also told me to learn C# or Java to understand all languages. And after that he told me you can’t be developer by courses etc. Also told me something like dont learn languages learn programming (which I think he is right). So I really need your help to ask what about now ? Should I continue web development course and FCC or jump to the C# ? Plus may you know Al Klein he is one of the user in Quora and he is always responsing like learn Niklaus Wirth book (dont skim learn) is that book good to learn algorithms and data structures ?

Should I study databases now ? OMG too much thing to do :frowning:


You’ve been getting some very big-picture, high-level advice. Yes, there is a ton to do, all of it worth doing. You can’t actually do everything that is worth doing in one lifetime. You can’t invent the self-driving car and perfect machine learning and invent the next big programming language and be a UI expert and a data scientist and a hardware systems engineer and a mobile designer and and and… There’s plenty you could do, but you do actually have to do something first.

“The web is dying?” Meh, maybe, but that’s speculation and it’s certainly not this-year-immediate. Maybe it’s important to invest into learning to write bots But everything builds on something, and a basic front-end knowledge is never useless.

“Don’t learn languages learn programming?” This sounds like semantic slipperiness. You’re always going to be programming in a language. So yes, maybe the point is “Don’t just cram the rules of languages into your head and cross them off the list, get a deep understanding of the why and how behind them and think about your goal not just your means.” But you still gotta learn at least some languages (and with all the frameworks built on it, might as well start with JS).

My advice is not the most informed since I haven’t come out the other end and gotten a job yet, BUT… I say continue with web development, which should include algorithms, databases, and data structures (as indeed fCC gets into past the "Front End certificate). Then maybe you can decide whether you want to use your knowledge to continue developing for the web, or whether you want to write software for local machines, or Internet of Things, or mobile or something. But my hunch is there isn’t as much difference between these as you might think.


Your friend doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I won’t tell you not to learn C# or, but don’t do it because you think the “web is dying”. JavaScript is huge, and it’s only going to get bigger. Follow the course and you’ll do fine. If you feel like you need more, check out P1xt’s awesome guide to being job-ready. I’d wager she has way more experience and expertise than your friend.


Thanks for replies guys.

I’m currently taking CS50x but one question. Should I do FCC challenges while training CS50x or just focus CS50 until end of course ? Plus it teaches c, python and bunch of more languages. Should I even consider Scratch to learn or watch that episode ? And is CS50 enough to understand basic of cs ?

I have some sympathy for your friend’s point of view - and I would have agreed with it a while ago, but not any longer. I learned to ‘program’ at university in Java. Took courses on data structures and algorithms, networking, all that jazz. Then I tried my hand at C# and found it was basically Java with a little syntax to learn. These last couple of years I’ve not touches either of them, but instead concentrated on JavaScript. What a shocker for me. Woo! I kept thinking, ‘you can’t do that’, and ’ what a stupid way to do this or that’. JavaScript is really different, and not just in syntax, its a whole shift in the way you think about programming. And I can say I like JavaScript now.

So for what little it is worth, my advice is to keep at the JavaScript and FCC. Learn it well. JavaScript will be MUCH easier to learn if you are not coming from some object oriented language. Learn your HTML and CSS well, learn a few frameworks. Later on - a few years down the road - learn some C++ or Java or C#, or all three. Looking back I believe the real important thing is to pick something and stick with it until you really know it. Jumping around and dividing your attention will only slow your progress as a programmer down.


Saying web is dying is like saying telecommunication is dying. Circulating informations around from people to people will always be around.

The web might evolve into something more advance, but I wouldn’t say it is dying. People thought newspaper would go extinct when the web came up, but is still around. Just not as profitable.

Although we have the web at our finger tips, yet, the library is still there.


I’m not sure I buy into the “web dying” thing.

As far as learning another programming language, I can see the value of learning a “stricter” language like Java. It will help you develop better habits and learn OOP better. Will it make you a better front end developer? Maybe. Will it make you a better coder? Probably. And it may eventually come in handy if you need to write a Java applet for your page.



@PortableStick, @P1xt and others posted good comments.

To add, I would just ignore what your friend is telling. The argument is similar to Mac vs Windows vs Linux. Or, PHP vs Ruby vs Python vs Node. Everyone has an opinion. But, in the end you need to use the appropriate tool for the job at hand.

JavaScript has similarities to C type languages like Java and C#. Java learned from both the strengths and weaknesses of C. C# learned from both the strengths and weaknesses of Java.

At work, we develop in ASP.Net and C# everyday along with JavaScript, jQuery and other web technologies. We are looking at adding Node and/or Ruby development. That is why I’m going through FCC to gain a better foundation in JavaScript and to learn Node development.

Web technologies will exist far into the future.


  1. Beginning with Windows 8, Microsoft added the ability to create Windows applications using only HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  2. I use VPNSecure as my VPN service. I use their Node desktop application to access their service.

So, just stick to the Free Code Camp learning curriculum. It will give you a foundation to do development using web technologies.

C# and Java: Comparing Programming Languages
List of C-family programming languages


Hi there,
As a person who took that udemy course from Colt Steele, and began to learn coding on FCC. I can fully say, that you need to keep going with FCC and start learning another language. I began learning the basics of C# and basically till now, it’s the same as javascript expect that it has more uneccessary complicated stuff. It’s good to start learning better Back End languages, while finishing the FCC, but quitting FCC seems stupid, especially if your aim is C#. Stop learning languages just because they are important and valued by professionals. Start learning the languages you love. And you won’t feel like shit when you’re doing projects or work on that language. I suggest you start doing projects, because I already know you learned a lot from Colt, that is really useful in web development.

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First of all, your friend clearly has no idea what he’s talking about. Maybe he’s hyped up about his course and/or work and is trying to shill languages into you. C# and Java are very similar languages that represent a very small scope of programming as a subject, your friend would probably be unable to read a LISP program, the idea that web is dying is childish at best and intentionally wrong at worst.

And as for your problems, you already got great advice in this thread, but i think you should figure these things out on your own. Don’t do web dev if you’re not sure it’s a great area to invest your time and effort in, it’s your time, if it turns out you’re not good at it you’ll be the only one who wasted his time and effort into something worthless.

CS50 is a good place to start, it will introduce you to a lot of computer science concepts and give you a better understanding of the field as a whole. Neither me, your friend nor sweet baby jesus can give you confidence, for that you must study, research and decide for yourself. There is no right answer. Maybe studying databases and becoming a DBA is the best possible outcome for your next few years, maybe working at mcdonalds would make you more fulfilled and happy. Not a single person on earth can answer that for you and i highly recommend that you be sure of what you want before you commit time into it. Don’t go by my word or anyone else’s, that’s bound to end in disappointment.


Before FCC, the only coding experience I had was Java, and that was limited to a few books and tutorials. I can see the point about learning programming concepts over just focusing on one language. Learning Python was actually the biggest help for me to start “getting” JavaScript, and solving problems in JS and Python helped put into perspective much of what I had learned in Java.
I have two weeks left in my current Python class and I am looking forward to starting CS50x right after.
Think of each language or technology you learn as one more tool in your belt of knowledge.
After CS50x, I am going to dedicate time to learn Ruby, but not abandoning learning node.JS or anything in the FCC map.
Expose yourself to everything, because you never know when it will be relevant in the future!

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Thanks for all those answers.

First of all yes I’am not self-confidence person and never been. When I hit a problem or algortihm script challenge cant figure how to solve it or how find right answers. And bam! Probably destroy my couple days. Don’t know everyone walked down that road but I’m going depressive when I can’t figure out solution. However I want to be a web developer or better title ‘developer’. So I’m going to take cs50x from beginning to top. I hope wont disappointment at the end. But I want to ask that any person felt what I felt at the beginning ? Will it end ? After weeks of work and months of brainstorm will I success ?

This is a difficult question, some people have that feeling for the rest of their lives. But if you properly learn how something works, this feeling goes away as it doesn’t make sense to feel like that when you fully grasp something.

For example, let’s say you learn CSS through freecodecamp (which lacks on properly teaching these concepts). You know what CSS is and basically how to use it, but you don’t know how to use it, you can’t create things in your head and understand how they work, so by the moment something unusual happens you will feel left out and depressed, but what you lack is understanding of how things work.

The remedy for that is studying, instead of just firing away solutions and hoping that something finally ends up working, understand why something didn’t work, and why it works. Any child can do trial and error and look for solutions on stack overflow, but if you take the time to understand these solutions, you won’t feel as if you’re left out, because there is nothing to be left out about.

Every single thing in computer science was created by some other person just like you, the hard part (creating the technology) is already done, now all you have to do is read the documentation and learn, the road is already paved for you. There is nothing mystical or complicated about it, it gets complicated when you try to do things you don’t understand. In CS50 you will use C, try to understand each concept instead of just checkmark classes and exercises, this isn’t college you don’t have to watch or do anything, and watching classes just as a checkmark is a waste of your time, if a class talks about a Trie, understand what a Trie is before moving on into the next concept.

At least that’s what works for me, life is chaos and each person has to learn how they work by themselves.


Of course, JavaScript is Scheme with C-syntax clothing after all :slight_smile:

You should set your target with milestone of actions, not milestone of sentiments. “Disappointment” is sentiment, you should change your wording with “I hope I grasp the idea of pointer arithmetic at the end.”


The web is not dying. That’s straight up FUD.

It WILL change. You can bet money on that. But it is not going anywhere.

BTW, you might want to check out The Imposter’s Handbook by Rob Conery. It talks about being a non CS developer.

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I am the IT Manager for my company and you don’t get hired as a dev unless you know JS. One of the key words I search for to score resumes is FCC or Freecodecamp. 99% of our software development efforts are in Node/Meteor. Aside from that know a front end skill like React or Angular. We use React.

Good Luck.

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lol! “The web is dying”?! So whats it dying to–newspapers? If anything, web based programming, like javascript, is spreading to all platforms like desktop(electron) and mobile devices(cordova, phonegap, pwa, react native, weex). Remember when Microsoft underestimated the web? Yea internet explorer and windows phone happened.

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The web is dying? I must have been missing something. If anything, it’s growing rather than dying, with the rise of popularity of web-based applications and such.

I’d say continue on your current path. I personally can’t confirm you’ll definitely get a job without a degree since I haven’t got there yet myself, but a lot of people here have found jobs and a guy I know personally has also gotten two job offers recently, and he doesn’t have a degree.

You said you’re taking CS50 currently. If you’re following one of P1xt’s guides, then my advice would be to follow the list in order, doing everything. Yes, watch the Scratch lecture and do and submit all of the problem sets, as well as the final project. I’m personally almost done with the final project. You’ll learn a lot from it.

@PortableStick Wait, is @P1xt a she? I’m sorry if I’m being silly, I’m not really trying to offend anyone or anything, but I’ve seen a few other posters refer to P1xt as a he, so I’m just a bit confused.

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Oh alright. Thanks for clearing it up. I’m officially embarrassed now. I had assumed you’re male myself. :blush:

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If you are currious whether web is “dying” you should check PWA now.