Proposal: adding additional categories to forum, including design, testing, security, and machine learning

Proposal: adding additional categories to forum, including design, testing, security, and machine learning
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The freeCodeCamp community publishes lots of articles and videos about advanced development topics, including:

  • security (AKA infosec or ethical hacking)
  • testing
  • data science
  • machine learning
  • design (Visual, Graphic, UX)
  • DevOps
  • gamedev
  • Computer Science (Algorithms, data structures, networks, system design)

We eventually plan to cover these topics in freeCodeCamp’s core curriculum (some of which is already incorporated into our new beta curriculum).

My question is - if we create these topics here on the forum, would any of you be interested in helping “adopting” one? This would involve:

  • Doing some searches and finding and recategorizing past threads about the topic
  • Then periodically sharing interesting articles related to the field
  • And answering questions related to the field


Hey Quincy.
These are great topics, for me especially Design and DevOps, but what do you think about Computer Science?


I have an interest in UX design and could try to contribute there. I’m pretty hopeless at the more artistic design categories though.


Awesome! We would love your help with DevOps - and Computer Science as well, if you’re interested in that. I’ve added it to the list.


Nowadays Machine Learning is usually a sub-topic of Data Science, Quincy.

I can start posting about data science. I don’t think there are many DS-related topics in forum. I will ask people in the DS room for help.


I would like to contribute to the DS/ML and CS sections :slight_smile:
I’m of the opinion that DS and ML should have separate sections [Provided we have enough volume for both], though - they are different enough, even if they’re often coupled together.


Can you elaborate a bit about those differences? Could be important… I would also vote for separated categories if they make sense. Collisions make the categorization a bit vague…


@evaristoc convinced me that ML and DS can both come under DS :slight_smile:


I can be very persuasive… :wink: :joy:


Note: Copied from my response in the Gitter chat room

I like the dichotomy between data science and “machine learning”/“statistical learning”. Although I believe that machine learning is a subset of what goes on within data science (which I believe is @evaristoc’s argument for keeping them under one tag), others outside have quite a distinction for those focusing on just machine learning algorithms (e.g. testing out algorithms on Kaggle) and all the rest of data science people don’t talk much about (e.g. data cleaning).

Although this separation is not fair on the other important topics of data science, I think people have interests in machine learning specifically that it may warrant its own tag. And I bet this is probably what @QuincyLarson was thinking when he listed them separately in his forum post proposal.

At the end of the day, I feel the bigger question may be what is the pros and cons for having one versus the other. One benefit for separating the two is to have a more focused tagging of forum posts, which I think would be machine learning and everything data science non-machine learning. However, now you have two tags, which are really just subsets of each other. So if you have one tag, it’ll be easier to classify everything as just one tag of “data science”. But then you have a problem of searching well if you go by tags. Eh, but I guess the search functionality of Discourse should be good enough to catch various search terms?

tl;dr I like splitting data science and machine learning into two because external forums/the internet I feel tends to lump into these two groups in terms of frequency of discussion


And for the record, I would be willing to contribute in cultivating a data science and machine learning presence in the forums :slight_smile:


I also agree with @evaristoc that in theory Machine Learning is a subset of Data Science and working with data. As @erictleung pointed out, not everyone will agree on this, and many people would miss Machine Learning-related posts if they’re lumped in with Data Science posts. So I also think we should have separate categories for them.


OK - so the list of topics and which contributors want to steward them:

This list assumes contributors will be responsible for helping nurture only a single category, though in practice many contributors will contribute posts and comments to threads in these categories.


If there’s still room, I’m also interested in “design” (UI/UX)


Yes please! I’m happy to contribute to it, but I’d like your help.




I don’t know how granular you want to get with these categories, but maybe a category for React, which has it’s own problems. I was once in a forum that had a category “Noob Questions” which was nice because it was less threatening to beginners and kept those basic questions out of other categories. We also seem to get a lot of questions along the lines of “how do I learn” or “what’s the best path” - it might be nice to have a category for these, like “Learning”.


I think this the categorisation is a good idea, but I’m not sure currently how populated some of those will be (though simply adding them is probably the best way to find out). One thing I’ve noticed (and I’m not sure of a good way to categorise) is the questions relating to other languages - normally Java/C/C++, which appear far more frequently than data science/ML/security/testing questions - some other tag (other languages? That’s not very clear though) rather than the generic “help” might be good. Also I can’t remember seeing any gamedev/DevOps questions at all (maybe connected data point - prospective game Devs don’t seem to overlap much with prospective other programmers, community wise). I’d definitely be interested in adopting a category though.

+1 on React I think though (also Node?), particularly with it being the framework used for the beta, questions come up regularly enough for it to be discrete from the JS tag imo


Quincy opened a similar thread somewhere else.

I copy what I wrote in another similar thread, @QuincyLarson @erictleung @Sprinting: