Going through FreeCodeCamp Curriculum

Hey guys I’ve completed all of the responsive website design, almost all of the javascript algorithm and data structures. I was wondering if I need to go through backend development and APIs and quality assurance certification? It seems pretty daunting to me because it’s a total of 300 hours each. Can I get a front-end developer job by just doing the HTML, CSS, Javascript, and React certification?

Only if you want to be a good programmer.

It seems pretty daunting to me because it’s a total of 300 hours each.

I don’t know how realistic the “300 hours” is. It’s just a rough estimate, and is definitely on the high side. But it does tend to get harder as you get further into it.

Can I get a front-end developer job by just doing the HTML, CSS, Javascript, and React certification?

It is very difficult to get the first job. Why would you not want to increase your odds as much as possible? Is it possible? Could I win the World Series of Poker without practicing? Sure, it’s possible. Why would I not want to study and practice to increase my odds.

You’re going to have to learn all this stuff eventually. After you get React under your belt, sure, you can start applying. But keep studying and working and building because it may be a long wait and you want as much as possible.

I think finishing the first 6 certs should be the goal. The Python stuff is cool too, but is a different stack - you definitely want at least the HTML/CSS/JS stuff. And then you’ll probably want to keep studying and building new things. It took me a year of hard studying and building things after the FCC curriculum before I got my first real job. #ymmv.

Most of the great coders I know are obsessive about life-long learning, not wanting to cut corners.


Thank you Kevin. I want to make sure I’m learning the things I need to succeed. So I’m planning to dive to react next once I finish up the data algorithm. Do you recommend going through backend API and Quality Assurance Certification? Not sure if I’m interested in backend! Maybe because I’m not familiar with it yet.

I think it would be good to understand a little bit of the backend.
Maybe you can just go through the first backend certification or build a few node projects on your own to get a basic understanding.

But I agree with @kevinSmith about wanting to stand out as much as possible.

There are thousands of people competing for the same entry level jobs with the same basic skill set (from bootcamps or self taught)

Anyway you can stand out from the crowd and separate yourself from the pack the better.

Just focus on learning and building some awesome projects so employers will give you a chance. :grinning:


Think in this way, when you complete react and frontend libraries you will be a good frontend developer, but if you learn about backend also, even if you don’t want work on backend, you will be a frontend developer with super powers. :muscle:


Thank you so much for the tip. We’ll definitely finish up the react course and go through the backend. However, talking to my friends, I don’t think learning ajax and bootstrap is necessary if I intend to go with react framework. Some of the stuff on freecodecamp is old and outdated? Let me know what are your thoughts.

That’s a good analogy! Thank you!

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it’s old, but still mostly relevant, as the features taught are still used, you wull need a different source for the newer stuff tho, at least until the new curriculum is ready

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For boostrap, you will propabbly pick it up quickly just by reading the docs if you needed to use it.

As for the AJAX and API’s section, you do need to go over that.

Being able to fetch data from an API is pretty important.

There are only a few lessons on that.

Or you can just read through the docs.

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You don’t necessarily need anything, but everything can help.
It’s less about if you can, or can’t, and more about can you stand out more than the next person to get the first job, and be able to keep such a job.

You could just focus on front-end only, never touch back-end and get a job. You could focus on the back-end and get a job, you could even learn nothing and get lucky through some networking connection and smooth talking your way in. Or you could take a mix of all approaches and get a job tomorrow, or be able to not do any of that and apply for months on end with no leads.

So no, you don’t need to learn the next part of the curriculum, but you probably want to learn anything and everything just so you can keep your doors open, and increase your chances of standing out.

Its true, its a grind, its tough, its a lot to learn, but there’s always a lot to learn, and you only have a limited amount of time to learn it.

I usually suggest categorizing your priorities of which technologies you want to use. If your not sure about what the back-end does/is (its all JavaScript ;D) then I’d suggest to learn at least enough to get a feel for it. Its hard to prioritize something when you aren’t familiar with it. You don’t need to go in to be an expert, but you should have some context so you can make judgement on it later.

If you’ve made it this far, I’m sure you can get through it in due time and get those certs, and possibly more/the rest given enough time. Or at least make a judgement if its right for you, and re-focus on what you do end up liking.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building, keep grinding :+1:


You couldn’t have said it any better, Brad! Definitely focused on being a Mern Stack developer right now I want to dive in deeper with vanilla javascript first then react. Once I go through the back end with node, express, and MongoDB. Perhaps build a project connect front end and backend using Mern Stack. Would that be good enough to apply as a full-stack developer?

Learning coding the hard way! Thank you Kevin!

A full stack developer should be able to be comfortable on both the back-end and front-end of the stack. This also includes building databases, and possibly doing some operations (deploying code/hosting/dealing with systems/ etc)

If you can do that, then yes you can. Otherwise knowing both sides can help you understand the rest of the stack, while you focus on whatever part you want to and applying to all kinds of jobs, to again increase your chances.

in react es7 they are using hooks instead of classes as opposed to the fcc curricullum. i say it still doesnt hurt to learn the old class method. but developers leaning toward hooks/functional coding now. so i personally desire to learn much as i can on hooks

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I would go beyond “doesn’t hurt” and say “is required”. You have to know class components to work in React. In the real world you are constantly dealing with old code and with packages written by other people. I hardly ever write class components, but I have to deal with them all the time.

I like FCs and I like hooks. But I still think starting with classes is a little easier. Maybe that’s just because I learned first. But also my concern is that if people start out with FCs/hooks, then they may not get to classes. And I think once you understand class-based components, FCs are easy. True, hooks work a little differently than the lifecycle methods, but still, the basic principle is the same.

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Yeah same here, when I first started in programming I learned Classes through angular framework, and then went full throttle with vanilla javascript. Got me confused when prototype was introduced to me, then realizing javascript have their own class concept which is based on prototype concept.

I would like to tell you about my experience looking for work, maybe I can be of help. I’ve only been in freecodecamp for a few months, I got my first 3 certifications just like you and went to apis and microservices. At that point, I got excited and went to quality certification, which I still lack projects.

I applied in a company on getonboard for full stack developers and they really did the testing.

I discovered that my codes in react did not have a suitable development environment.

I had to integrate webpack with several babel packages, sass analyzers, since it was required for the tests, and although it is easy to write, it was quite a lot of configurations of which I had no idea at the time and it was necessary for the from-end with react.

They pointed out to me:

  1. Code in dirty react.
  2. I was not using Lint.
  3. Did not use typescript
  4. Without unit tests

In back-end development they required me to use node, typescript, containers, unit tests with jest and CI / CD with gitlab.

They pointed out to me:

  1. Didn’t use TypeScript
  2. I was using express instead of nestjs.
  3. No unit tests or integration tests.
  4. No use of CI / CD

Since then I have been studying to solve all these problems, that is the reason why I have not continued with the quality certification, which I plan to continue.

The application worked properly, but just working is not enough, it takes a lot of preparation to enter the competition and be eligible. So all the time spent may not be enough.

My regards, we will continue to strive.

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On those points:

  1. Code in dirty react.

Yeah, obviously you want to develop clean habits.

  1. I was not using Lint.

Yeah, using a linter is a good habit.

  1. Did not use typescript

TS is cool. I use it. But not every place will expect this, especially for an entry level position. And, just to reiterate, a lot of places don’t use or care about TS.

Like I said, TS is cool. But learn solid JS first. If you are strong in JS, then you can learn the basics of TS in a week, or in a weekend if you have a solid OOP background.

  1. Without unit tests

Unit tests are cool. But not every place will expect this, especially for an entry level position.

  1. I was using express instead of nestjs.

That is going to be very, very specific to the job for which you are applying. Different companies require different libraries. Which should you learn? Looking at npmjs, I see that express has 17,854,380 weekly downloads and I see that nextjs has 1,963. By my math, I might infer from that that express is used 9,095 times more than nextjs. That doesn’t mean that it’s better, just that there are probably A LOT more jobs with express.

Some places will want you to know their specific tech stack. Some will say, “OK, we use x, but s/he knows y, and that’s probably close enough.” There will be all kinds. But I would be very careful about chasing “the last tech someone told me I need to learn”. If your goal is to get hired, I would be more worried about the most used techs. There are a lot of people out there saying crazy things about how their favorite package is the panacea that will take over the coding world. 99.99% of them are wrong. And most the rest are only partially right.

  1. No unit tests or integration tests.

Integration tests are great. I was not aware they are required for entry level jobs.

  1. No use of CI / CD

I’ve never heard of an entry level job requiring knowledge of CI/CD.

Since then I have been studying to solve all these problems, that is the reason why I have not continued with the quality certification, which I plan to continue.

You mean the section that teaches you test writing? Wait, what?

Your original question was:

Can I get a front-end developer job by just doing the HTML, CSS, Javascript, and React certification?

If you are trying to be a React developer, the number one thing you can learn is React and the things necessary for that (e.g., redux, react router, etc.) For most hirers, imho, the number one thing they will care about is how solid your React is. I might add “clean” code in there, too - they are looking at your code and thinking, “Do I want to work with this person?” People that write dirty code are a nightmare to work with.

Things like TS, unit tests, CI/CD - those are extra. You could be the best unit test guy in the world, but if your React is crap, they won’t care. If you are a solid React developer, then the other things won’t matter as much. OK, maybe they may be a stickler on the TS, but like I said, you can learn that pretty quickly if you are solid in JS.

My suggestion would be to focus on getting really good at React. Get solid on express - that is another feather in your cap and helps you write more interesting demo projects. Yes, make sure your React is “clean”. Using a linter will help. If you can set up things like prettier and sonar, that would be great too. Have people review your code. Look at other people’s code and see what they do. Read books like Clean Code and The Clean Coder.

Once you get good at that, maybe look at writing some unit tests. Maybe learn a little TS and apply it to React/express. Then if you have sites on which you are working, learn how to do a little CI in github. Then, once that works out, add in a little CD.

This is a process. It is a marathon, not a sprint.

I never really asked a question.
Just exemplify what happened to me recently when applying for a company as a fullstack developer.

  • All companies do not take it the same, some do not even give you a freeback.

  • Many times they select the best, which best suit what they need.

  • It is an overwhelming competition, in which we spend a lot of time to do our best.

Surely, you are right, and it happens the way you report for some cases.

With me it happened as I have related it. I did not omit any detail no matter how damaging it was to me.

I will look for those books, if they can be obtained for free. I do not know if I mention that I am Cuban, that brings me several limitations.

Thank you very much for your comment, they are always helpful.

I will look for those books, if they can be obtained for free.

I don’t know what the copyright status is, but if I google things like “clean code download ebook”, I find some links to some pdfs.

I am Cuban

I don’t know how that affects your job search. Does that mean that you can only search for jobs in Cuba? I don’t know how it works. If that is the case, then the hiring environment might be a little different, but the basic principles should be the same.