Every person who wants to learn how to code has probably heard of freeCodeCamp. I am no exception to this rule and I have to say that their curriculum looks very attractive. In this story I want to talk about how I tried to learn how to code with freeCodeCamp and ended up switching to LaunchSchool. This article is not a review of Free Code Camp or Launch School, I spent 2 months full time learning with freeCodeCamp and around 4 months learning with LaunchSchool, I am simply writing about my experience with both of them and how one fits my needs better than the other.
I made the decision of opting for a career in Web Development in February 2016. Back then I had done tons of research about which path to follow for the next 6 months so I could be ready to find a job right after the summer. Yes, I was optimistic, 6 months to become a professional Web Developer… Of course, I had heard about the 3 months bootcamps promising you to achieve the same in half the time, but the cost was too high and I was skeptical. At first, I thought I was going to use Coursera, Edx and Udemy courses only. However, after considering that option in depth I realised that I needed something structured, a path to follow. That’s when I found Free Code Camp.
- Learning the fundamentals first and thoroughly
- Learning to proficiency/mastery
- Factoring out time when considering to get ready to start my career in software development: picking the slow path over shortcuts
- Learning in a circular fashion
- Assessments composed of a written test and an interview
It has been what I have needed from the beginning and I couldn’t be happier with my experience going through LaunchSchool. I am now about 4 months and a half in the program (I took 2 months off during the summer) and it is working out great for me. Fundamentals are well-covered, I am not getting sidetracked and the depth reached for each topic is on point. I am learning what I need to learn to become a professional Web Developer in order to launch my career and that is all I could ask for. Moreover, the team at LaunchSchool is very responsive and the community is motivated and helpful. The only downfall, and LaunchSchool even talks about this on their website, is that you are learning on your own, so it can get difficult sometimes, but if your goals are set it is doable. After all, this is the downfall of almost every online program teaching how to code.
To conclude and come back to my title, Free Code Camp or Launch School? Well it all depends on what you want to learn and how you want to learn it. FreeCodeCamp might be better for people that like to learn along with some freedom in their learning, whereas LaunchSchool is more structured and doesn’t really let you get side-tracked. Whatever you are looking for, I recommend you check them out because they are both really great if you want to learn about Web Development.
EDIT: PS: It might be important for some people to know that Free Code Camp is free where as Launch School requires a monthly subscription of $199 which is still pretty cheap compared to most of the coding bootcamps out there.