Transitioning from the comfort levels of FFC and CodePen

Hello! This is my first post on the forum and I hope my post is helpful to others and not redundant. I’ve been plowing through learning coding on FCC full-time for the last several months and I’m addicted to the learning format, the coding problems, and the curriculum. As someone who gets the most out of self-learning, FCC is great and I’ve learned so much from the comfort of my home. I’ve completed the first 3 curriculums and I’m feeling very comfortable with my progress at this juncture.

To this point, 99% of my work has been done within the FCC console and on CodePen for projects. I’ve become so comfortable with using these platforms, but I’d like to start coding some original projects and create a portfolio, and I know I need to start getting experience in Github. I’ve merely just set up a Github account and started to move my CodePen projects there and I downloaded Visual Studio Code.

I had a friend download some packages/plugins via my Terminal in order to start using Github, but a lot of that stuff was foreign to me, I’ve just dabbled a bit with learning terminal commands. Is learning the Terminal essential to setting up Visual Studio Code and Github? Getting a web dev job? Is solely using CodePen acceptable as source code editor or should I be using Visual Studio Code (or something else)? What is the most important thing I should be focusing on figuring out here?

I suppose I’m just looking for some tips or sources to give me some direction on where to focus my learning in terms of some these general things outside of the coding exercises and CodePen projects. There are so many forums and youtube tutorials out there and I don’t want to waste time going down the wrong rabbit holes. I’m close to preparing for the job hunt process but I know there are some essential things outside of coding I need to learn first.

Many thanks!

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Using a real code editor like VS code, Sublime text, etc. would help as it gives you a real coding environment what you won’t really get by using codepen.

The terminal is the same as the Command Prompt on Windows and the Terminal on Mac etc. and it would help if you’re planning to use Git which is nowadays the most popular version control system.


While it is true that the central skill is to know the basics of your language (whichever may be).
If you are near to the process of job hunting, I highly encourage you to learn at least the basics of Git and GitHub, since they are very used for collaboration in projects. Even in a non typical workplace. Big projects like (For give you examples) FCC, and the Python software foundation rely on GitHub in some way.

So, I kindly recommend you to learn the basic stuff.
Hope this helps.
Best of wishes in your projects.

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Yes and no, there are ways to using VSCode and github that do not include the terminal. However, knowing how/what/where you’d use the terminal is important in the process. For example, git is the software your’d use to manage version control, and github is where you’d use git to “back-up” you work on github’s servers. git is also primarily used within the terminal, or some select GUI applications. git by itself is the main thing you’d use to interact with github/vscode/your-own-code in terms of managing your version control over time. You’d also use git within a terminal.

So just with this example you can see there’s multiple elements to consider rather than “is terminal all I need”? I’d compare it to asking about if you can become a professional gamer do you just need windows 10? Both are true at a surface level, but there’s a lot more elements involved rather than single technology decisions.

I believe the single most important thing to figure out first is context. Understanding where things fit in the grand scheme of things, and understanding roughly where, what, and why things are in relation to other things is what to focus on first.

For example knowing what git is relative to github is very useful even if you aren’t really sure how to use git’s commands.
Another is understanding what codepen’s limitations are relative to using some other approach, or what its advantages are.

This way you can more focus on whats important, as you yourself understand whats important and expected.

Its also important to realize, when it comes to tech there’s always more to learn. So keeping up, learning new things, and figuring out where things fit is a good skill to learn early on.

There’s a lot to learn, there is also a lot of ways to learn what you need to learn. I think the most important to know and understand are what there is to learn, and why you’d want to learn it. Knowing this surface level knowledge allows you to focus on the right things, at the right time, this way you don’t end up going down the wrong rabbit holes, but you at least know what holes are available to go down in. :slight_smile:

Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:

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Hello there,
I used this tutorial on Udemy and it help me to learn git pretty easily.

Also, another great resource to learn git and GitHub is CS50 learn web development with python and JavaScript. The quality of lessons are super high and easy to understand.

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Thanks everyone for the great responses! These were all things that had been on my mind and it is nice to hear it from others.

As a beginner I don’t expect to master anything yet, and there is so much out there to learn. I just want to start gaining basic understanding of all of the tools needed to allow myself to grow, and get better with practice. When learning new material, I definitely tend to “hyper-focus” on specific subjects and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself by studying advanced topics without missing anything essential.

Thanks again!

I know about VS Code and use it but not much for development. Certainly it is worth learning. Continue with it.

It is important that you are learning Git and GitHub. Continue with that.

I have been using Visual Studio (not Visual Studio Code) since the beginning. It is worth learning and there is much about it to learn.

If you are going to be employed by an employer using Microsoft technology then C#, SQL Server, ASP.Net and IIS are worth learning.

If you are going to be employed by an employer not using Microsoft technology then the Eclipse IDE, Apache and other (other than SQL Server) databases are worth learning.

Professional database developers use Object–relational mapping - Wikipedia. You could learn about that.

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