Started FCC at end of Jan and just got my Front End Developer Certificate

Hi there,

I have joined FCC two months ago and I just obtained my Front End Developer Certificate. I have a background in scientific coding but no developer experience. Here is my personal experience with FCC so far.

I joined with very little prior experience in web development and javascript: pretty much all I had done in my past was a static website for the research team I was working in something like 8 years ago and -more recently- a few html + css + javascript courses on Codeacademy. On the other hand, I do have some significant prior experience with coding as I programmed extensively in Matlab, Python and R for my Ph.D. and then for my job in the Energy industry over the last years. So my experience could be interesting for fellow FCC coders with a background in scientific coding but no “developer” background.

Personally I found some of the challenges fairly easy, especially those where “standard” procedural coding of the kind people use in research was needed. E.g. challenges where you are supposed to sort stuff, calculate functions or similar (a good example is “map the debris” which honestly took me like 5 min). On the other hand -and since this post is not about bragging - I did find some of the challenges and projects fairly difficult to conquer.

In particular, not having any developer experience- I was initially put of by asynchronous coding. In my prior coding experience typically all my code executes in a linear fashion: here’s the input for a simulation, here’s the models to crunch the numbers, here’s the output charts and tables. When coding apps such as the Simon game or a calculator the mindset and code structure is completely different as you need to wait for the user to do something and your code must be able to handle whatever and in whichever order the user decides.

I found it very useful to rely on the Model-View-Controller framework as a way to keep my code clean and avoiding getting lost in “who-does-what” across my functions and objects. I ended up spending more time than I imagined on debugging and testing my code little by little as I was not able to plan and think things through as much as I would have liked. In the end though seeing an interface working is really satisfactory, and I am still surprised when my calculator or Simon game actually work!

I will now move to the Data Visualization part, which is my main goal in FCC as this is what I will be hopefully able to use directly in my job to visualize some of my analysis and dataset in a better way (plus, I am passionate about Data Viz).

Resources I found particularly useful:
-“Head first” books on Javascript and HTML5
-stack overflow

Most challenging bit so far:
-Understanding Javascript Promises, which I used in the Simon game coding

Most enjoyable bit so far:
-Making the Simon game actually work!

Questions for fellows FCC coders:
-Do you have a similar experience or coming from a similar background ? I would be interested to hear from you
-For coders with more of a background in software development: what workflow or tool or approach helps you in structuring your code properly, maybe even before actually writing code ?


Hey there! A big congrats to you for completing the front-end certificate, and doing it so quickly!
I’m appreciative of your assessment of the mixed level of difficulties you experienced. I find it interesting that you went through all that in order to ultimately learn data viz. I am also very curious about data viz. Also, I am looking forward to the Simon game project.

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Thank you, and good luck!

Thanks! My pace is much slower. Started in November and I am now at the Random Quotes project.

Congratulations fellow camper, it’s really great to see someone reaching new goals!

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Congratulations !! :slight_smile:
I had it today! :smiley:
great to share with us :blush:

Hey there! I’m also coming from a scientific computing background (electrical engineering) where MATLAB is my go-to computing platform, and I started using Python recently (those MATLAB licenses are expensive and Python is a great alternative). I will keep your comments in mind as I progress through the curriculum. I just started the Basic Front End Development section of the Front End Certification. I’ll let you know where I get stuck!