My certificates vs Free Code Camp certificates


Since I knew Codecademy before Free Code Camp, I worked more on Codecademy, (however I have started the Front-End developer certificate on Free Code Camp and I hope to finish it soon);

In the meantime, could you tell me if the certificates I received on would be enough to start a career as a Web Developer? Or do I need to add Javascript? Which other langauges /frameworks do I need today in 2017?

And last question: how can I emphasize my online skills during a tech job interview, ? Can I quote both my Codecademy and Free Code Camp certificates?

TO SEE MY CODECADEMY CERTIFICATES, please click on the URL below.

If you don’t understand javascript - I really think you need to take more time and learn. That being said - certificates are pretty useless in software development interview - you could say I was ‘certified’, but a better alternative is to show them your portfolio - but realistically speaking if you don’t understand AT A MINIMUM html, css, and advanced javascript you aren’t job ready.

Sure you might be able to show them certs but that proves nothing - demonstrate it when you get to a whiteboard interview (it’s gonna be mighty hard to do without any sort of programming lang that can be used for them - javascript can be used to solve the problems at least - HTML&CSS will draw a pretty picture at most). Being harsh about this because I don’t want to see you annoyed/angry if you bomb the technical interview and blame freecodecamp or


Certificates are not as important in a job interview as some would lead you to believe. What really matters is your attitude going into the interview. You should be enthusiastic, hungry, and eager to learn because that is what someone is really looking for. Yes the technical skills are important, but what really matters is how hungry are you to contribute to the success of the company.

In terms of your qualifications. I suggest that you do some more work in Javascript and really get ramped up on that. We have found a lot of success bringing in junior candidates like yourself to contribute to the front end of our applications while we bring them up to speed on everything else.


But wouldn’t someone with certificates be more likely to get to interview than those without?


Coursea has certificates, but they are not for free (although you can take some of the courses for free without a certificate). I do, however, love the intellectual challenge that each certificate offers. I think it’s intellect and the willingness to take up challenges that gets you a job, but I don’t really know, as I am in the process of changing careers.


@LisaCee Yes, having certificates may get you the call to come in for an interview.

But it’s your performance during the interview that counts the most.

When I was interviewing job applicants (Computer Aided Design draftsman), certificates may get them in the door for the interview, but it’s the actual hands-on performance that matters. I give them (5) tasks they need to do. They’re free to use the reference manuals or the built-in help file of the program. The record for completing these 5 tasks is 6 minutes by one of our guys. But for these applicants, I tell them they have 30 minutes alloted for it.

Very few finish within the 30 minutes allotment… some took almost an hour, and some even went beyond 1 hour to complete the 5 tasks. I remember one applicant just left the building after he can’t complete it after 90 minutes… didn’t even say goodbye. — and yet, all these people either finished a course or have certificates claiming they know the subject matter.

Pretty soon, we stopped interviewing applicants coming from a couple of for-profit schools.


There’s not some industry standard certificate for software development. Realistically certificates are a bad thing - rather than having confidence in yourself - you get your confidence from a certificate? I just think it’s a bad idea rather improve yourself as a developer - everyday - and one day you’ll get a developer job - but like the certificate doesn’t do that - only you do.

No and depending on the way you present them, you might make it less likely - if you don’t have a computer-science degree fine - that’s not the only priority - BUT you’ll need to demonstate the knowledge otherwise (a certificate doesn’t cut it, your portfolio is a good start if you want to include a link to a list of your projects or something).

  • Are you prepared for an interview?
  • What about a technical interview?
  • Have you practiced writing code on a whiteboard? If so what language? You might want to consider learning C++ as many companies tend to prefer it in whiteboard interviews.

Technical Interview Time: Write me code to where if I gave you a set of numbers (an array) that would in the most efficient way possible check those numbers and see which pair equals a sum. (And hint: iterating over it in a loop isn’t the most efficient way to solve it, it could take quite longer depending on the size of the array).


[-7, 6, 9, 10] 
Sum: 3
The pair being -7 & 10

Problems like I wrote above are the types of problems you need to be ready to write code to solve. Are you prepared to solve problems like that and others?


Just wanted to note that Codecademy does not offer certificates for anything but the Freelance Web Dev program, which is a paid “mini bootcamp,” basically.
Source: Work as Codecademy advisor

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To be fair, at least you are honest about that. I see so many bootcamps, online courses, etc claiming to make people job ready some fail to teach the basics of Git or how an actual work environment works. In the future it might be impossible to get a job without a CS Degree if the issue of ill prepared workers annoys employers enough. It just really worries me so I can be judgemental about programs like Codecademy.

Maybe a little, but not by much. They’re better than nothing, but don’t confuse them with a degree.

As pointed out, there is no standard for what a certificate is. It’s not like having a degree from a university where you can count on everyone having a BS in computer science is going to have a basic level of competence is some obvious subjects.

A certificate is just a piece of paper that someone printed up. The interviewer has no idea what the coursework entailed (unless they participated in the program). They also know that with an online certificate there is no face to face so the certificate grantor doesn’t even know for sure who did the work. I’m not trying to get down on fCC, but one potential weakness is that if someone was so minded, they could cut and paste all the code from other sources, maybe making a few alterations here and there. Without some in depth checking, how would anyone know? Really, if I wanted, I could make my own company and just start selling certificates online. Why not, people do it with degrees?

So, no, certificates are not golden tickets to get the job. I think of them more for me, as milestones on my journey. I still say list them on your resume. And if the interviewer asks about your education, mention them, by all means. But don’t think they are the equivalent of a degree. I think you will embarrass yourself if you act like you think that internet certificate is going to impress anyone to any great degree.

As mentioned before, what is going to impress them more is your portfolio and your experience. I would focus more on that. The certificate programs are just a way to build those.

Be proud of your certificates. Even list them where appropriate. But realize that your portfolio and experience are what will matter most to others.


Thanks for the good feedback. I am just hoping that the certificates will show that I know something and be a foot in the door, since I don’t have a CS degree.

I’ve been working through the codecademy interview questions, though I have no idea how to complete yours without a loop, so I have some more googling to do.



Is getting a CS Degree an option for you?

It’s an option, but I’d have to get a few job rejections first.

I’m almost 40 and work full time, so it’d be a challenge being in school full time.

I have the same doubt as you, is it mandatory to have a degree? Most of the people I know with a IT degree know a few about coding… and, obviously, I am in a similar situation.

Awesome feedback and suggestions for someone looking to start a career in computer programming.

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No it’s not “mandatory” for anyone to have a degree, but people with degrees generally do get more consideration over those who don’t. A 4-year degree in anything (it really doesn’t matter which subject) from an accredited college or university proves various things about a person like tenacity, the ability to cooperate and live with others, the ability to learn, the ability to be responsible and accountable for your own actions, etc. Even better if the subject is either computer science or something else highly related (electrical engineering, which might not seem related, can still open doors for jobs in embedded systems or anything working directly with hardware—actually a very hot field right now with IoT).

Also, lest your post give the wrong implication, a computer science degree isn’t really that much about coding per se, mostly because coding by itself is not computer science. Computer science is about the principles and theory behind much more abstract topics—data structures, algorithms (efficiency and what kinds of problems can and cannot be solved), the mathematic operations that allow the CPU to work behind the scenes, how programming languages work, etc. There’s so much to computer science that goes way beyond mere coding. Which is why sometimes a person who does graduate with the degree may not even necessarily have great coding skills. It’s not about coding. It’s about learning how to think about solvable problems (and sometimes proving that some problems are too hard to ever be solved) and coming up with efficient solutions which are efficient not only in terms of time but also space (i.e., how much storage they might need to consume on a computer).

That’s why employers generally give credit to those who graduate with a degree in computer science. It proves that the degree-holder not only knows a wide swath of topics that are applicable towards solving problems but can also work with other people. Which is basically what every company wants—solutions to business problems and team players. They don’t want “code monkeys” who can’t come up with efficient code and never think about the bigger picture, and could have a hard time working with others. (Not to say that there aren’t any college graduates with “people problems” of course, but the vast majority of college graduates understand how to work with people who may have a different opinion from their own.)


I appreciate your view and opinion completely. I am looking forward for starting a career in coding mostly, and I do not have much time to do another degree, I already have one but is not related at all with CS. Thats why I am asking that. I’ll figure out what to do anyway. THank you

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