freeCodeCamp's new certificates - here's how we're rolling them out

If you’ve checked out, you may have noticed that we now have 6 certificates instead of 3. We’ve put a ton of thought into these and how to roll them out in a way that’s fair for everyone.

Here are the new certificates:

  • Responsive Web Design
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Front End Libraries
  • Data Visualization
  • APIs and Microservices
  • Information Security and Quality Assurance

These will replace the old legacy certificates:

  • Legacy Front End Development
  • Legacy Data Visualization
  • Legacy Back End Development

Each of these certificates will have 5 required projects, and all other challenges will be optional. We estimate that each certificate will take around 300 hours to complete.

The Full Stack Development Certificate

Once you earn all 6 of these certificates, we’ll award you with the freeCodeCamp Full Stack Development Certificate. This final distinction signifies that you’ve completed around 1,800 hours of coding with a wide range of web development tools.

In our old certificate program, we awarded the Full Stack Developer Certificate by completing an additional 800 hours of coding on open source projects used by nonprofits. But not a single camper has accomplished this to date, because they all get developer jobs long before they’re able to clock this many hours.

Coding for nonprofits

We’ve decided to make coding for nonprofits a separate process from the certificate program. We’ve added 5 of our projects that are used by nonprofits - our Open Source for Good projects - to the challenge map. Feel free to browse their open issues. You can dive in and start contributing whenever you feel ready.

We will continue to add Open Source for Good projects to the challenge map as they become stable and ready for your contributions. These projects are all built using the same JavaScript-based tools you’ll learn by earning the certificates. And several of these are nearing a public beta (I’ll formally announce these as they go into open beta).

In addition to our Open Source for Good projects - which are particularly well-documented and beginner-friendly - there are tons of other open source projects you can contribute to. The community has built a guide to contributing to various open source projects here.

What happens to the old legacy certificates?

If you’ve already earned a certificate, you will always have it. You will always be able to link to it from your LinkedIn or résumé. And when your prospective employers or freelance clients click that link, they’ll see a verified certificate specific to you.

And if you’ve already started working toward the Legacy Front End Development, Legacy Data Visualization, or Legacy Back End Development certificates, and still want to claim it, don’t worry - you can will always be able to claim these certificates - even after we release the beta challenges.

All of the required projects for these old certificates will remain available on freeCodeCamp. For the old certificates, you can complete old versions of the projects.

As long as you created your account before we release the expanded curriculum, you will be able to claim these old certificates any time you want, and they’ll start showing up on your freeCodeCamp profile.

Campers who create their freeCodeCamp after we release the expanded curriculum will not be able to claim these old certificates.

Note that in order to claim the new certificates, you’ll need to build the new projects (some of which are updated versions of old projects) and get all of their tests passing.

Some cool facts about the new certificates

  1. Each of these certificates has 5 projects, all of which have built-in test suites. This means that each user story has a corresponding test that can tell you when you’ve properly fulfilled it.
  2. You can pull in these tests through a CDN, meaning you’ll be able to build these projects on websites like CodePen, or your local development environment, or even on itself.
  3. We love Node School but we’re getting rid of their challenges. We’ve built our own back end challenges and projects, which also have tests, and can be completed on or your local development environment.
  4. We still recommend completing all of these certificates, but if you are already an experienced developer, it will be much easier for you to learn a specific skill you’re interested (like information security) without having to jump around through the map. All the topics will be broken out in as modular a way as possible.

As you can probably tell, we’re all extremely excited to launch these new certificates. Dozens of campers have contributed their time and effort to make this a possibility. Thanks for your patience as we finish getting all of this ready.

I’m happy to answer any questions you all have.


So the million dollar question is: when exactly is the launch date?

Thanks for making this great learning resource even greater.


Awesome thanks so much!! Great to have a comprehensive guide of exactly what is going on and how things will change / proceed from here. Im staying put on the path Im already on now towards the Data Visualization cert then BackEnd. Whenever beta is stable Ill hop on board with that too. Thanks for the info :smiley:


Are the video challenges remaining? If they are, are they being reorganized underneath something?


So excited! Wondering the same thing!


@Quincy this sounds well thought out and practical in the approach taken. Its a nice feature to leave the old certificate framework in place for those that already have one of them underway - your post should relieve some anxiety for these folks.

Thanks for the update.


Sounding good. I’m curious about two things. Firstly, how exactly will you be able to test projects I develop locally. Secondly, did freeCodeCamp switch to .org from .com? Is it because we are now an official non-profit? Just curious, thanks!


Awesome news! making this program more smooth, but one question I have is ,I see the test suit and I try to put my code into it end up with failing the test, after the new version updated, does all the challenge have to follow the test suit?


What about users who are using the old FCC? Should we rather switch to the beta?


All the video challenges are also on YouTube - plus a ton more videos. We may keep them in the challenge map, though. We’re still deciding what to do with this.


Great questions.

how exactly will you be able to test projects I develop locally?

You pull the test suites in using a <script> declaration. Then you can run the tests literally anywhere. If you’re curious about what this looks like, here’s the codebase for it:

did freeCodeCamp switch to .org from .com? Is it because we are now an official non-profit?

Yes - we’ve been a nonprofit for quite a while now, but we hadn’t switched to the .org domain until recently because of the sheer amount of work involved in such a transition.


Excellent question. I’ll update my original post. You don’t need to update your old projects to qualify for the old certificates, but you will need to get all the tests passing for projects if you want the new certificates.


I recommend switching to the beta, though some of those challenges don’t work fully. The main thing is if you’re going to build projects, build the projects on the beta. They are vastly superior now that we’ve added tests, and I they’re also designed with a lot of things we’ve learned over the years in mind.


Awesome news, thank you so much. very much excited!! Happy Coding. :nerd_face:


Hello @QuincyLarson

One quick question. I’ve been here for a few days and I’m trying to walk through the course work one step at a time irrespective of previous knowledge. Already in the middle of the Boostrap course. Are you advising I switch to the Beta?

FYI, It seems the beta doesn’t allow fresh sign-ups yet and the following link: returns a blank page; at least for me.

Please advise.



@QuincyLarson Any roll-out date planned right now?


Hello @QuincyLarson and everyone else,

I have two important questions.

  1. When can we start making progress on the beta version?

  2. If we already completed part of the old version, but did not get any certificates yet, is there any way to transfer our progress from old version to beta version? Or do we have to start over?



I really love the video challenges, because of the quizzes! I learned a ton from the videos, so I hope you keep them! Thanks for all the awesome things you do :clap:!


Thank you for all your hard work on this. I’ve been working through the beta curriculum, including the React test modules, and they’re all great. Really excited to see them officially launch.


So just to be clear, if we are already working our way through the current map, should we switch to the Beta now?

I’m up to Intermediate Front End Projects, so it would be a good time for me to switch, before I invest another couple of hundred hours or so.

This sounds great btw. Thanks for all you work creating FCC.

1 Like