What do you think of the categories and sub-categories?

We had two potential approaches in designing our forum.

One was to let the pedestrians define the walkways. We considered this at length, because it has worked in so many other aspects of our community - letting campers decide what is important, then structuring our Gitter, Medium, Reddit, and Facebook efforts around that.

The other was structuring the conversation around specific resources from the beginning, which was something we felt none of the other major forums were really tackling.

I think it might impose a taxonomy that, while not unbeneficial, may be coming from a different angle than the person posting. For instance, a topic I just thought of but don’t have time to post right now is “How do others, like me, who are trying to learn to code for a career switch while still working full time and taking care of family responsibilities, structure their lives for successful learning?” What category is that… meta? (Plus, I realize the point of this forum is to hook people up with resources, so it’s sort of off the intended purpose. But I feel like feelings like that are going to vent themselves. The other thing I see a need for (maybe this already happens on Github?) is discussions of proposed changes to FCC curriculum (maybe broader discussion than topics that relate to a particular challenge). And every forum eventually spawns a “put off-topic threads here” category for people to talk about Dragonball Z.)

Taking the first, organic approach, I just listed 3 or 4 resources, and then people started replying about Udacity and codeschool. Perhaps that kind of conversation is more likely than, “Hey, let’s talk about Udacity!” The other conversation I could imagine is “Hey guys, what is the best resource for understanding “this” in JS?” (or prototypes. or callbacks. or…)

Thanks for the feedback, @AbdiViklas.

We do have an off-topic thread called the Campfire Lounge, where you can talk about Dragonball Z. Can’t wait until the thread count there is over 9,000.

I’m going to update my article to let people know that they don’t need to add a category to their posts if they aren’t sure, and that our mods can categorize after the fact.

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@QuincyLarson, I’d like to see a category dealing with programming resources that result in a certificate upon completion (e.g., FCC certifications, Udacity Nanodegree).


I really really dislike the categories / tags right now. How is anyone going to categorize general questions around programming if 99% of these hundreds of categories are “Podcast this” or “Book that”?

Especially since choosing a category is mandatory, it is essentially enforcing that all discussion must be based on one of those resources - rather than actual topics and concepts people want to discuss.

I strongly hope this gets changed again.

Question that occurred to me overnight: are they categories, or tags? I.e. can we add more than one? (Oops, with my first post I just created a thread that by now has mentioned at least 5 different resources.) Plus, do we want to keep the categorization to threads, or have a way to tag individual posts? (E.g. the hypothetical thread “What should I use to learn JS?”, categorized Javascript, contains responses “Oh, totes codecademy” and “Well, I find codecademy is stronger for CSS and front-end.” The responses could be tagged “codecademy” and “CSS”/“front-end” respectively. Or is that over-tagging, and there’s always the search function…)

We could go super general:

  • General
  • Help (General FCC help)
  • Front End (frameworks, UX, tools like SASS and Pug/Jade)
  • Back End (Node, DB)
  • Learning Resources
  • Motivation (learning experiences, etc)

Or super specific:

  • General
  • Help
  • Angular (1 & 2)
  • React
  • Vue
  • Ember
  • Backbone
  • UX
  • SASS
  • Less
  • Pug/Jade
  • Haml
  • Node
  • MongoDB
  • Rethink DB
  • Books
  • Video tutorials
  • Motivation
  • whatever

There is probably a middle ground in there. I think that a simpler approach would be best. If you go super specific you risk having a lot of unused tags.


I like having both general and technology-specific ones. Makes searching for stuff (or subscribing to topics) much easier.

Thanks for the feedback. Our goal initially is to see how a resource-focused approach works (rather than the technology-focused approach that most technology-related forums use).

We may introduce more of these technologies in the tools section down the road.

Thank you for your feedback. Based on this observation, I’ve changed our settings so that categories are now optional.


One of the features I think would benefit navigation would be to have similar general categories like the FCC curriculum and gitter: like Frontend, Backend, dataVis etc. that way it will seem more integrated with the learning process and we can also check out stickies or other trending topics for same general topics we encounter progressing through FCC. Thanks for the work done so far, looks very professional like always. :slight_smile:

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Thank you :thumbsup:

This may also be a way of gauging which types of categories become popular among users.

I think it’s a little silly and not scaleable UI-wise to have a separate subcategory for every individual book. Mere users can’t add new categories, so what happens when they want to add a book? Back to the scalability, what about when there’s hundreds of books? Or books that are long gone or deprecated but still taking up space in the categories list?

Shorter: fewer categories please.

(Edit: To demonstrate scalability problems, try to find something in the “hamburger” menu in the upper right. It’s just a flood of categories with no search functionality.