Could use some study advice

I am not a newbie to web development, but my experience is based on HTML4, XHTML, PHP and plain Javascript, and I haven’t used my skills in over a decade.

Started at FCC at the end of June, finished responsive web design in less than a month and will finish javascript algorithms and data structures before the end of August. However this pace leaves me no time to experiment, build projects, create a portfolio, …

I feel like I have three choices:

Scenario 1:
Continue at this pace of one certification per month. I will know a little of everything, but will have mastered nothing and have nothing to show for, except a certificate. Been there, done that. Not a good strategy, but there is this competitive drive in me.

Scenario 2:
Finish the javascript course and the next one, front-end libraries, and then stop. The first 3 FCC courses (responsive web design, javascript and front end libraries) are a solid foundation for experimentation, building projects, creating some websites, and maybe even start blogging again. Do this and study the same topics from different sources for the next 2-4 months before starting the next course at FCC. But will I stay motivated?

Scenario 3:
Scenario 2 during weekdays and study something new (e.g. the next FCC course) during weekends.

What do you recommend?
How do you study?
Do you do one certification after another or do you take time off between certifications to build stuff?


Depends on WHY are you doing this. What is your purpose? Mine is rushing to get work in IT, so I am doing something similiar to your scenario 1 type of thing, only with some things in my portfolio. After I finish my education in here I will add my final massive project to portfolio and will start job hunting. You don’t seem to be interested in job hunting, so maybe second scenario is a way for you


Currently it is more of a hobby, even a passion.

Let’s add Scenario 4.

Let’s pretend you’re on college, imagine you study on weekday so you can prepare for weekend exam (doing FCC).

no, build stuff
if you want mastery, create and practice

if you wanted to learn to play guitar, would you find fifteen different tutorials, or just one specific for the basics and then practice a lot? and then when you are ready find a source to learn a nee technique?

build stuff. start with the freecodecamp projects. then add functionalities.
build something you would want to use.
if you start wanting to build something with a back-end (a server, a database to store stuff, create an account and log in with username and password), return to fcc and do following certs

for more projects and missing ideas, the Interview Prep section has Take Home projects there, full-stack, but also just front-end


If your doing this as a passion everything comes down to keeping yourself motivated without burning out. Obviously you could just “walk away” and stop if your not having any fun anymore, that’s your choice. Its not like your forced to do this one way or another if your doing it for fun.

I study by actually going semi-backwards.

  1. I learn about stuff I want to look into (lets say React)
  2. I educate myself onto why I’d want to learn/use it and decide if I want to actually learn it. (React is used everywhere now-a-days)
  3. Assuming I want to actually learn/use it, I’d start building something using my existing knowledge:
  • this means I might end up re-doing stuff I already know, but thats practice in itself
  • this also means I “jump in” and start messing around with what I want to learn
  • this also means I have to lookup and learn as I go
  1. If I run into a lot of problems, I might look into a tutorial/guide to get a better idea of what I’m doing. I could go over FCC curriculum’s to help get the basics down after I already tried to learn it on my own. This way I already have some context, and can focus on just practicing in a controlled simplified environment

If you want to keep with the “gamification” of freeCodeCamp, then go ahead and do whatever you want when it comes to studying, learning thru FCC. There isn’t a right/wrong way if your doing it as a passion, the same way if you like to paint, go ahead and paint!

PS. When you do the projects, those in itself are what you can “show off”. I’d suggest to show off what you build rather than the certs, as if no one knows what freeCodeCamp is, the certs wont mean much. If you show off what you build, they stand for themselves regardless of if you built them for FCC or not.

Good luck, keep building, keep learning!

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Great advice, thanks

I’ve occasionally done that in the past. Start with what you know, know what you want to achieve and go for it. And look things up or even study for a while when your stuck.

I am not gonna wait any more to start my own projects till I am done with javascript and front-end libraries. In fact, I already started writing down my ideas for personal projects, sketching, …