How is the forum doing?


#1

Hey fellow campers,

Here’s a quick update on health of the freeCodeCamp forum.

tl;dr - It is growing like crazy, and things seem to be getting better and better.

First of all, more campers are using the forum:

And this is in spite of us no longer explicitly telling campers to join the forum and introduce themselves.

Here’s a chart that should make us all proud:

This is the average time it takes for a post to receive its first response. That number is currently 0 hours.

This means when you post a question here on the forum, you can usually expect a response back in less than an hour. That’s almost as fast as a chat room!

Imagine getting stuck on a coding challenge or a project, explaining how you’re stuck, going to make a sandwich, then coming back and someone’s already responded. That’s the kind of response time we can achieve with this forum.

And you can help further accelerate this. We have a new Contributor Page that has fun, quick ways you can contribute to the community. Two of them involve the forum: answering unanswered questions and giving feedback on projects that haven’t gotten any yet.

Here are some other cool facts:

  • People from almost every country on Earth use this forum.

  • 1 in 5 campers on the forum is over 35 years old.

  • nearly a quarter of campers on the forum are women - a much better ratio than most programming communities.

The forum is a fun, inclusive place for everyone who’s learning to code, regardless of how “newbie” their questions are. As camper Kim Crayton describes it:

“The freeCodeCamp forum is like Stack Overflow without all the downvoting.”

All of this is possible thanks to our amazing team of moderators, and to the many helpful campers who are answering questions, giving feedback on projects, and making this a fun, helpful place to spend your time.

Thanks for being a part of all this!


Update on how the Gitter chatrooms are doing
#2

I’m curious to see how this growth coincides with replacing the “Chat” link in the freecodecamp.org navbar with a link to this forum last month.

Anecdotally, there has been a significant reduction in activity in our Free Code Camp Chat Rooms since that change. It would be great to see how the community is doing on Gitter as well.


#3

Oh this is really awesome!!! This is great…and I really love the new Contributor page…

Whenever I sit down to start offering project feedback, I would scroll all the way down the page to find threads a week old or so that have no replies and start replying to those first …just trying to offer up some reply to people who may have slipped through the cracks. This makes doing that so much easier :smiley:


#4

@skyc This is an excellent question, and one that Gitter regulars ask me a lot. I’ve written a comprehensive answer to this here.


#5

First of all, thank you for helping all of these campers with feedback on their projects. As someone who once struggled to get feedback on my own project, I can tell you that a little feedback makes a huge difference in morale. This is also one of the best opportunities to point out how a someone can do something better.

If you can think of any other ways we can make it easier to give campers feedback on their projects, let me know. We’ve tried a lot of systems, but in the end we want something that’s frictionless for campers and convenient for reviewers. :slight_smile:


#6

This forum is amazingly troll free and relevant. I tried the chat rooms when I joined and they were the opposite.
Let’s keep this up!


#7

The only thing I can think of really is something that has been brought up before already, some sort of way for code to automatically be formatted…or maybe even just a warning if something the poster looks like code reminding them to format it.

Dont know if this is even possible, but maybe something as simple as making the code button in the tray a different colour and appeal to human nature to become curious why its different and push the button to see what it does… lol


#8

Neat idea - many don’t use backticks or use them improperly. What about some sort of code box.


#9

The functionality is already in the UI, but people tend to miss it.

I made a suggestion for a plugin to help with this a while back, but unfortunately I don’t have the skills to implement it myself (I made a mock-up, though). Basically, it’d need a Rails dev, ideally one who’s also familiar with Ember.


#10

Those are awesome numbers. I think it is very refreshing to see a community as strong as FCC to help out those that are hungry to learn. I will do my best to get that response time to under an hour!


#11

Awesome - thank you for helping out all these campers :slight_smile:


#12

Great to see that the forums are exploding. I’ve been telling all my friends at my coding bootcamp about FCC and hope they too come to try it out!


#13

Thanks for helping spread the word about the community! :slight_smile:


#14

The growth is awesome - freeCodeCamp Staff have actually had to upgrade the forum servers to be able to handle the amount of load on the forums - it’s crazy but still happy to see the growth.


#15

What I think is cool is when I google a question and it comes up on freeCodeCamp before StackOverflow. Woohoo! :scream:


#16

That’s partially due to the fact Google knows your browsing history (even if you don’t use Chrome there’s Google Analytics which tracks you by both cookie and IP Address) and will favor freeCodeCamp over Stackoverflow if you use freeCodeCamp more often than Stackoverflow :slight_smile:


#17

There are a lot of queries where the forum does indeed come up before Stack Overflow. Google’s ranking algorithms are quite complex and mysterious, and they don’t always favor the incumbent :slight_smile:


#18

Google uses targeted search results along other factors - it may be targeted towards you however freeCodeCamp might just rank better. The forums and stackoverflow are both great resources however one likes beginners and the other bans beginners (I’ll let you guess which is which :slight_smile:) It really depends :slight_smile: