Which would you say is the optimal learning process?

Hi there, I don’t have any coding experience and have a few routes I’ve been considering:

a) Start with Frontend Master’s

  • bootcamp
  • Beginner Path
  • Professional Path
  • React Path
  • build projects on freeCodeCamp and on my own to improve

b) Start with freeCodeCamp

  • Responsive web design cert
  • Javascript alg and data structure cert
  • React, Tailwind css, and Next.js through each program’s own website.
  • take Frontend Master’s courses to improve each skill I’ve learned and build projects on my own

My goal is not to learn programming to get a job, but because I want to develop projects/businesses on my own. Since doing research is common every-time you want to build something, I assume for specific projects I’d be able to learn how to implement them by knowing the above information.

Would love to know the learning path you guys recommend (even if it’s neither of the two). I’m sure both work, but I’d rather not do it the inefficient way.

Thank you :pray:

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Hi @am93!

Welcome to the forum!

I think either path ends up leading to the same result.

Whether you learn the fundamentals from frontend masters or FCC it all leads to building your own projects.

All these resources teach the same things just in different styles. It really depends on your learning style on which path works best for you.

At the end of the day, you will learn alot by building projects.
Building projects will teach you how the pieces fit together and how to apply what you have learned in a working application.

Just get started with learning. Don’t overthink it with which path to choose.

Happy coding!


Hi @jwilkins.oboe thank you! Is it correct that understanding the concepts and how things work is enough to progress through the learning process?

I just want to benchmark my comprehension, because it seems working off memory would require me to study the language in a different way. Thank you again for taking time to answer my question :slight_smile:

The goal is not to memorize anything. It is literally impossible to memorize everything in html, css, javascript, react, bootstrap, etc.

That is why documentation exists. Professional developers look up things all the time.

The goal is to have a basic understanding of the fundamentals and then apply that to building projects.

Focus on basic understanding and practice with projects. Not complete mastery of a language or memorization.


Hello @am93, welcome to freeCodeCamp!

This is actually pretty important. A lot of resources, specifically boot camps aim to make you as employable as possible, and that isn’t always the exact skills you need to build a successful business.

Like any business you need to run it efficiently otherwise it might not be worth your time, or worse you end up going into some kind of debt. Luckily investment into software is cheap as it primarily requires knowledge, time, and an idea. This is why there are so many startups, and also why so many fail so often, because failure is cheap.

So even with the right tech knowledge, you still need the right business knowledge too to be successful, regardless if your freelancing, building your own online business, or trying to be the next big startup. With this in mind its worth keeping the tech knowledge you gain in perspective, its just part of the overall goal of building a successful business.

Hi @bradtaniguchi, thank you!

You’re definitely correct. Assuming you agree with @jwilkins.oboe’s suggestion, do you have any other engineering suggestions based on my goal?

I’m happy to have found an active online community of people helping one another :raised_hands:

It really depends on what you want to build, otherwise, it is hard to recommend. Things like what type of product on what platform, the scale of the application, and so on. The key thing here is to find the right tool for your need, similarly, you would eat a steak with a steak knife, not with a machete. In general web tech will be the most versatile and great starting point. Since it is cross-platform so you couldn’t go wrong with basic web tech like HTML, CSS & Javascript, considering the versatility and low learning curve.

I’m posting just a few general ideas here:

  • Full-fledge Web Application
    • I would doubt that learning react, redux, node.js, next.js should be considered cost-effective. Especially algorithm and data structure, you might only need to spend a few days brushing up some basic concept and anything beyond that wouldn’t be necessary. Unless you also consider being employed as a developer with decently marketable skills while you start your business/project.
    • Most cost-effective tech stack to learn to be able to build a full-fledge web application including client & server, learn html/css/javascript, php and MySQL(database stuff). With this stack you could build anything you want(Facebook built with php) with probably the lowest learning curve and least amount of time you could possibly have.
  • If you are going with pages mostly for presentation/marketing without full-fledged customization, just go with WordPress, you might need some basic HTML, CSS, JS, and PHP to modify functionalities yourself
  • E-commerce, go with Shopify, could use some html, css to modify the design
  • mobile app, go look into tech stack accordingly with either IOS or Android. Else go with react native or flutter for cross-platform mobile app
  • Graphics & game-related, look into unity
  • Data analytic related, look into python, SQL
  • Finance related, Python, c++ are pretty common as well

You see the theme here, each industry and business have its own tech ecosystem. Have a clear goal in mind could save you lots of time. FCC might not work the best for you since it’s curriculum is built with a premise of landing a web dev job.

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Put a piece of paper and a pencil into your pocket.
Every time you find an action in your life and you think like “Gosh, this is annoying, why do I have to do this?!”, write it down on the piece of paper.

Filter for the things you can solve with a computer and try to automate them. I do this all the time.

Thank you @yuchiu, love the breakdown!

Hi @miku86 I actually meant about learning how to code, but yeah there’s a lot of ideas that need the right execution. As a non programmer I’ve worked on some with the help of others (for the technical aspect), but ultimately engineering is one of the core skillsets needed to succeed in making something impactful & successful. Others being:

  • Product
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Design
  • Finance
  • Management

But you are asking for a specific plan to learn how to develop projects/businesses on your own. And this highly depends on your projects.

Maybe the best solution for your project is not a web app. So creating a web app because this is the only thing you can do doesn’t make that much sense.

Moreover planning months into the future is wasted time, because until you start the step then, you have to rethink your plan all over again, because things change. E.g. planning for NextJS now is like being a 16yo old who never drove a car and plans to drive in Formula 1. Maybe it makes sense to learn the basics of programming for at least 6 months and then think about the next steps. Maybe your projects change. Or your motivation. Or something else.

Especially because but I’d rather not do it the inefficient way..

The other suggestion depends on how your own buisness is going to work. If its freelancing or your building your own startup you also should know ops. AKA knowing how to host, scale, deploy, and manage the architecture of what your building.

Lets say you build the next hit app, what happens when 1 million people show up to your instance? Will it explode or scale correctly? What about your database? What happens if you push an update that breaks something? How will your system handle itself it it goes down when your sleeping?

I’m assuming your either by yourself or with a small team. Regardless, these are questions that at least should have some kind of answer that you need to keep in mind. There are tons of solutions out there, but if your “flying solo” knowing what kind of options are out there are just as important as building the app itself. :smiley:

Definitely. It seems after I get the basics down (html, css, javascript, maybe some react or php/MySQL as noted by @yuchiu) I’ll be able to determine which additional language is needed depending on the project and ask myself the questions you noted. I’ll then be able to hold a conversation with someone technical like you all :grin:

For the time being it seems freeCodeCamp & FrontendMasters is a good way to start, then I’ll build projects and go a more specific route. Hope I’m on the same page as you guys

Languages are just tools, you technically can build a buncha stuff using just HTML/CSS/JS using something like a MERN stack, which is what freeCodeCamp teaches.

Once you get the fundamentals down, especially with deeper programming concepts like data structures and algorithms, you can carry that knowledge over to other languages. Until then I’d suggest to focus on only 1 or 2 languages (not including HTML/CSS, which are more standards than programming languages)

So yes, continue your path of learning freeCodeCamp and frontendMasters, or whatever resources you desire :slight_smile: Just keep all the other advice in the back of your mind and slowly lean into them as you move along your learning journey :smiley:

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Great comments on here so far!

The only thing I can add is to look into “spaced repetition system” or SRS. Regardless of what path you follow it’s going to help you optimize your learning.

There’s a lot more science you can read into but basically learning is best when done in cycles and by repeating or reviewing materials you’ve learned in the past while increasing the space between reviews over time.

A service I like to use has a decent little intro into what it is on their landing page: