To pay or not to pay: are the best things in life — like coding courses — free?
Rick West

Like a lot of things, some will be worth paying for, others won’t. Where the material is genuinely relevant, up to date and useful then I’m a firm believer in paying people for their knowledge, time and effort. We tend to value something in relation to its cost to us and ‘free’ tends towards not valuable -that’s something worth content providers bearing in mind.

My main bugbear is when I pay and it’s not really doing what it says: a dev course I’m currently working through purportedly to create ‘professional developers’ from complete beginners cursorily covered source control and has absolutely zero content about unit testing or TDD and the standard of coding produced is pretty shocking — no attempt at a decent software architecture. On the plus side, taking their ideas and input and then expanding it myself with the topics I know I need to understand at least keeps me on a path. I can recognise that but I wonder how many genuine beginners do?

Despite that, I’m happy to pay for the information they do provide: it’s a curriculum, it gives me an approach to work from and covers the ins-and-outs such that I don’t need to scour for that and I feel I am learning because of the structure. It’s taking me significantly longer than others seem to take because of the additional material I have to self-discover and understand and I’m comfortable with that.

What I really miss is the mentorship and getting answers to quite technical, involved questions: in their ‘support’ chat-app anything asked gets quickly lost in a deluge of inane and pointless chatter. I think if someone could solve that problem at a reasonable cost then they’d be on to a winner.