Other "platforms"--what's best for what?

Other "platforms"--what's best for what?
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#1

Okay, let’s kick it off! It’s nice to hear right from the horse’s mouth that it can take more resources than FCC alone to get the job done. Here’s my perception of some other websites that I’ve looked to for supplement:

  • Udacity: I love that everything is free. What you pay for, if you choose, is the big assignment projects, mentorship, code review, interview prep, etc. I am about 75% sure I will actually do so when the time comes. I’ve found that their combo of videos and assignments works well. They tend to explain things fully and clearly. In some ways it’s less convenient, but I find that the format of the assignments–out of the browser, downloading files, working in an IDE like Atom, etc. as opposed to an emulated in-browser IDE–brings things a step closer to the “real world.” So far I’ve used Udacity to flesh out my understanding of basic layout (they actually used the phrase “box model”–and illustrated it by showing somebody cutting up a page with scissors) and ajax/API (I like this illustration). It keeps being bumped by higher priority issues, but I plan to use them to get the beginning of a clue about command line, and then to use git.
  • codeschool: I took advantage of their “free weekend” a while back to kick start my learning of JS. Like Udacity, well-explained videos (though I found I could go through them fast enough to outrun my understanding at some point). In-browser simulated IDE is, again, a pro and a con. Convenient, but you can’t save and glance at your code a week later to remember how you did it. N.B. that the first chapter of every topic is free–great for getting a bird’s-eye idea of what it’s about (and all of some, like a massively useful primer on Chrome DevTools).
  • codecademy: There’s plenty of opinion about this around the internet. I find that it’s sometimes useful as a temporary resource, for a quick check on how something works. I don’t like that there’s a lot of material behind paywalls, and what they have is not always as expertly presented as some of the others.

Help with first freelance job
#2

I would add that FCC doesn’t “require” use of any of these other resources, but they certainly don’t hurt as long as they’re not used as an excuse for procrastination, which is a phenomenon that Alexander Kallaway wrote about this week on Medium.

I personally used these resources here and there when I was learning (along with a lot of programming books and MOOCs) and found them helpful. Some of these (Code School, Codecademy) were part of FCC’s curriculum early on.


#4

I found Udacity most helpful so far with courses connected with app marketing, product design and app monetization. Great insights for startup world.
The base of courses is not huge but it’s really fresh and aimed at startups and tech entrepreneurs. They teach not only coding but their focus is more on how to think in tech. Useful skill for freelancers and startup team members. I recommend there the courses on Product Design, App Monetization, or App Marketing. The courses in this field are very practical and give you the info about the suggested steps, free tools and resources. They invite the top-notch mentors in a given field to share the experience, so even if the provided info is not enough for you, you know where to dig for deeper. It’s useful for anybody who works on own side projects, works in startups, or simply wants not only to code but do more in a product development.

Code School and Codeacademy are great sources to start from scratch to learn step by step kept by hand or simply revise. Recently, I was revising JS with Codeacademy. I use it to take first stapes in something because they are a mix of practice, explanation, and help. They have a lot of explanation with each task which is useful for making sure you get how things work. Both are great for those who like gamification. In both you have a free access to parts of courses.

I started my learning with Lynda.com which I am still using as a source of explanation. Because it’s more passive than anything from the above, I use it as a kind of tutorial and source of suggestions.They have huge base of courses (not only from coding). They keep on developing the app and the mobile apps really do their job. For those who travel a lot or simply want to use wisely their free offline moments Lynda offers offline viewing. The courses are highly accessible. They put a lot of effort to make the courses available with subtitles, transcript, speed optimizer, and display layout customization. They have 10-day-trial if you want to give it a try and decide later. The website is useful also when you want to learn something new apart from coding or design.


#5

I am using FCC as learning tool in my IB Design courses. In addition to introducing/educating students about coding, my hope is to raise their awareness of, and skill navigating, online learning communities. I am running two concurrent units centralized on FCC: older students are creating a FCC community in Tivat, Montenegro (our school’s town) and the younger students are working on creating a Tribute Page using the Front End Development track. I feel a little as though we are outside of the target audience for FCC, but I am excited about the possibilities of using the framework in broad educational terms vs. career advancement/vocational terms. The supplemental tools I suggest are therefore a bit skewed to these ends:

  • Khan Academy: while being mostly known as a mathematics learning tool, their programming tutorials are quite useful for the true beginner in the JavaScript world, and build up nicely to more complex computer science concepts.

  • w3schools.com: Perhaps too obvious an entry, or more like interactive manual pages, this has been indispensable as students begin working on their creations in codepen.io. Once they create their page layout sketch, they instantly want to know specifics on “how do I do this, or that?” and often a quick googling for basics, like “CSS fixed background” always brings them back to w3schools. I’ve found that getting into codepen and experimenting/playing way earlier in the exercises is beneficial for retention of the basic skills.

From my perspective, in selecting learning resources, I find FCC worth immersing my students because of the community aspect and the altruistic giving-back-for-non-profits motivation behind portfolio building. So thank you.


#6

I really like using FrontEndMasters.com.

It’s geared more toward intermediate JS level and it’s helped me learn a lot about React, Node, and Functional Programming. Their teaching styles are easy for me understand.

Also, now that I started reading through ALL the documentation on anything I am learning (and trying out every coding sample), I seem to learn much faster than I did when I avoided the docs and searched immediately for other tutorials. Thus, the docs are now my favorite resources.


#7

Yes, and I edited to clarify: not “required” in any sort of official sense. I was just referring to your point that it isn’t a “one-stop shop.” This has DEFINITELY been my experience with FCC so far–blaze through a few seconds on each (Bootstrap grid, jQuery, API calls, etc.), then hit an “open” assignment and spend hours (for the last one, 4 weeks) learning how to actually do it. As a user I’d say FCC’s biggest value* is as a syllabus—it provides something so useful other sites monetize it: structure and order. So many paid programs make the pitch, “Hey, the resource are out there, but you could waste so much time doing them haphazardly.” Even if FCC is currently very bird’s-eye-view, at least it provides that map.

* … after its built-in community component


#8

I really enjoy Udemy.com Colt Steele Web dev bootcamp It cost me $25 US and chock full of front end and back end lessons.

I did try Code School for a month but I really hate the musical numbers at the start of the videos. I couldn’t stand it for longer than the past month.

Khan Academy for brushing up on math but hate their JavaScript lessons.

Travis Neilson’s DevTips channel on YouTube is excellent.

Codeacademy for learning syntax. YouTube in general for tutorials – it’s surprising what you can find, both very good and of very lousy coding.


#9

FCC was the second resource I came across. It was apparent I needed a companion of sorts to get through it, which set off this deluge of resources to sift through.

I spent maybe 6 months bouncing around in total confusion unsure as to where to start, with what to start with (php is easiest, javascript is necessary, python is useful, ruby is wanted) etc.

I finally came across javascript is sexy’s outline for Javascript, http://javascriptissexy.com/how-to-learn-javascript-properly/ and I’m using that more or less as I’m working through FCC’s javascript portion.

After that, I will continue to do my best to keep resources to a minimum. It gets to the point where It’s more distracting than beneficial. At least in my experience.


#10

Yes, it’s easy to get sidetracked with extra resources. And sometimes I think it’s important to “pick” one and stick with it, instead of getting 5 different sources telling you how to assign a variable. But I have to mention that I found some benefit (on a long bus trip, without internet) in the ebook Eloquent Javascript. Also, although I haven’t had time to check them out thoroughly, the You Don’t Know Javascript series looks great.


#11

I started learning with Coursera’s “Programming for Everybody”. It follows a much more traditional classroom format, with new lessons and assignments posted every week, grades, and a course textbook. That sort of extra structure can be very useful for complete beginners or people who struggle with self-pacing.

The course itself aims at demystifying computer science, and teaches Python.

I loved the course, but once it was over, I didn’t know where to go to continue learning. I also needed something less structured and more focused on teaching web development skills. I eventually found Codecdemy, and shortly afterwards, Free Code Camp.


#12

FCC is my favourite curriculum. but i’m using these other platforms:

Coursebuffet who help me to make my computer science degree with awesome courses from over 17 platforms and 200+ universities, enabling me to search for them in one spot.

Schoolyourself for maths ( the best i think)

Coursera, Edx, and Codeschool :slight_smile:


#13

SoloLearn Great way of learning. Video & text format available with fill in the blanks or multiple choice questions.

Courses available in a couple of languages :slight_smile:


#14

Best is subjective… How about whats a solid resource for your needs :slight_smile:


#15

I recently bought membership from FrontEndMasters.com as well and I agree with you that their material is top notch. Kyle Simpson’s courses are especially noteworthy!


#16

No best, just useful to me:
Pluralsight - my 6 months (free from Microsoft’s pack) have been great, they cover a diverse amount of topics and they include some Frontend Masters content.
Codeschool - The first one I tested for JS Learning, they taught me the basics pretty well.
Tuts+ by Envato - Professionally crafted video series that are worth every penny.
TeamTreehouse - The CSS Animations and Networking basics were good and well explained.
YouTube - No description here although not a platform per se.
Coderbyte and FCC - Algo practise and curriculum.


#17

RubyMonk was pretty great for me to learn Ruby and some more advanced programming mechanics.

I also used mix of Codeschool,Codeacademy,Treehouse,Pluralsight and other platforms but RM left biggest impact on me.


#18

Personally, I find hhtp://teamtreehouse.com to be an excellent resource for when you need to deep dive into a topic. The only problem I find with them is that there really isn’t any assignments that take you out of their ecosystem, and into the real world. I would be nice if they actually gave you homework assignments, and instructors to critique your work. Then I feel, they would be more of a complete solution.


#19

Have you heard of One Month? They run multiple types of virtual bootcamps. They were kind enough to give me this 50% off link to share.I thought you’d be interested. http://memberclouds.com/resources/?p=2044