Project-based learning with real world examples?

I’m a big, big fan of FreeCodeCamp. This question is slightly critical of the content, but I don’t mean to be dismissive or disrespectful.

I’m curious if anyone is able to provide suggestions of resources for project-based learning where the example projects are more “real world” and directed at an adult learner.

When I took courses on Udacity, I found there were a lot of childish examples and projects. Cutesy things. Ice Cream stores, candy things, zoo animals, etc. I find myself similarly disengaged with some of the FCC content when it gets a little cute (Ferris Wheel, Penguin, Piano, etc.).

Yes, I know. I should get in touch with my inner child and just move on.

But! There must be some learning content that is really geared toward adult learners who want a sense of what it is like to work in this context professionally.

FrontendMentor seems like one option. Any other suggestions?

I mean what would be the difference.
There could be I don’t know… tank photo app instead of cat photo app or whatever :joy:

It’s just examples, how tools can be used. One could extract general knowledge from courses like here, I am not sure why context is so important.

I’m looking for resources where the projects are reflective of what junior developers are actually building.

This is just my personal experience of the FCC curriculum. I would not say that building a “Picasso painting” is an ideal project-based way for me to learn intermediate CSS.

FrontendMentor is one resource I’ve found. Asking for more resources in case this kind of approach is helpful for other adult learners.

Did you build certificate projects? How far into the curriculum are you?

For pure frontend design stuff, you can also go to something like dribbble and look for designs to implement.

Hello @joseph.r.martinez!

Another useful resource for you could be The Odin Project. I am currently taking their Full Stack JavaScript course. The projects given to you, in my case, are very captivating.

Because I am interested in learning JavaScript in their curriculum, the first project I tackled was a Rock Paper Scissors game in the browser. It was super cool to build it as I was able to actually implement my JavaScript skills when building that sort of thing.

After that, I continued to learn some JavaScript concepts and gradually completed projects such as building a Calculator and recently… a Book Library of some sort.

If you think you can’t decide on which resource to use, I would recommend reading this forum post: I just earned my first certification - You Can Do This! - The freeCodeCamp Forum

And there could be other posts out there like this that I don’t know of…

The Picasso project is focused specifically on practicing CSS manipulation. For the most part, the certification projects are fairly representative of basic projects. As the courses progress, you build up to something closer to junior dev projects as your skills mature to that point.

Try to replicate something that you actually use. Web apps are extremely prolific, and you probably use a ton of them without realizing it: Amazon.com, YouTube, GMail / Google Docs, Facebook, Instagram, and even sites like Udemy are all web apps.

In the real world, you don’t have tutorials and resources and you’ll need to find out how to do things either through Google / Stack Overflow, problem solving, or just plain trial & error. That’s how you should learn.

The web apps that you already use are real-world in every sense of the term, because millions of people use them.

If you’re not far enough into the curriculum to know how to do back-end development, you can simplify any web app you use to just the front-end side of it. Not every app needs to have a fully functional back-end - you could hypothetically implement something like Amazon’s front-end using all static data for the products.

Thanks for sharing these links! I’m working through the JS course right now, but feeling like I might benefit from trying a project tutorial.

Sounds like a good plan. I think doing some practical projects is important as it takes the code out of the abstract.

Happy coding.

1 Like

Some very helpful links and pointers in the comments above. Thanks all!

After spending more time with the freeCodeCamp curriculum, it looks like the Responsive Web Design modules have the “cutesy” projects as the bulk of the ‘learning’ curriculum, but the certification projects are all pretty similar to what you would see in the real world. So, if coding a penguin is really going to make me suffer, I could just work on the certification projects.

While I personally do not love the cutesy projects, I realize now that they are good opportunities to get in a lot of repetition.

1 Like