New Camper! Need some advice

Hey everyone!

Today is my first day at FCC. After a few weeks of research, looking at everything from online colleges, to individual courses, to boot camps and everything in between - I finally decided to start my journey here.

I’m 35 and have a pretty decent job, but no passion for the work I do. I’ve always been interested in computers and like many people here, my real dream is to be a developer and build things that matter. But after just turning 35, it hit me that it’s now or never.

After listening to some interviews with Quincy on a few podcasts, I found it really inspiring that he himself didn’t learn to code until he was in his 30’s. And there’s plenty of YouTubers and people on other online forums I’ve seen with similar stories.

All that to say, I understand that FCC is designed to be a linear program. As such, I will be starting at the very beginning with the Responsive Web Design certification. No matter where I end up going in the development world, learning some front end I’m sure will be invaluable in whatever job I end up going for. But my real interest lies in the guts; the back end stuff. The framework, the databases, security…that sort of thing.

So my question is this: Should I really go through the entire program until I reach the Python and Data Science stuff, or is there a good point to where I can break off and explore the sections that truly interest me most? I know that I can jump around as much as I want, but I’m curious what people who’ve been in the program for a while think.

I’m not adverse to learning front end development and things like JavaScript. In fact, I think it would be awesome to learn. But eventually, I know the back end is where I would like to focus. But at ~300 hours per cert, I feel like it will be quite a long time before I get there.

So what do you think? Stay the course? Jump around. Really just looking for some opinions here.

Also, it’s nice to meet everyone! I’ve heard great things about the FCC community and I can’t wait to be a part of it.


My advice: Pull the trigger! Start with something. Every journey is unique and will be filled with right and wrong choices. I personally started with a Python tutorial, did some simple tasks, worked through the curriculum here on FCC and kept learning/building on the side. For me this was the right path, so I’d recommend it (with a heavy emphasis on the importance of building your own projects).

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Hi @jm_tallman !

Welcome to the forum!

Those are just estimates.
Everyone is a little bit different.

You probably won’t spend 300 hours on the html and css portion.
I think the longest will probably be the javascript section for beginners.
Because not only are learning javascript for the first time but you are also learning programming fundamentals.

As for python, you could start there.
If you feel like it is to difficult than you can supplement with other sources.
Currently, FCC is expanding on the data science curriculum

Pick a main source(like FCC) and then supplement it with other materials.

Good luck!

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Hey Jessica!

I saw that on Twitter! That’s really exciting. When my stimulus check rolls in, I’m going to donate a bit to the fundraiser.

And thank you for the advice. I took quite a while before landing on FCC, so I’m definitely committing to this program and will probably supplement like you said, to fill in any gaps.

Nice to meet you!

Really solid advice. Can I ask what Python projects outside of FCC that you’ve built?

I watched the FCC tutorial “Python for beginners”, did the first 13 or so tasks from this website:, watched a pygame tutorial and built a game following along and I am currently working on an app that will extract data from receipt pictures.
So perhaps to add to my first post: follow your passion.

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