Speedrun progress — entry four

@raisedadead is awesome

Photo by Robin Pierre on Unsplash

For this sprint I decided to stop worrying about the brittle user stories on the web dev projects and just bang out the JS cert. It took me around 8ish hours to go through all the lessons and do the 5 required algorithmic “projects”. I wrapped them up, headed to my settings page to collect my cert and … bam, settings page is borked. So I hit up the FCC github to see if there was an open issue, there was, it had been open for a couple weeks but it must have been some special sort of magic because within about 20 minutes of me encountering the issue, there was a workaround, and Mrugesh Mohapatra was deploying a fix. I ended up having to re-code my solutions for the 5 required projects because apparently FCC doesn’t like saving shit, but within the hour I had them redone and claimed the cert.

This was the issue, in case anyone else comes across it:

Pro tip folks:

Save your code off to repl.it or something to ensure you never end up in a situation where you need access to that code again and FCC has sent your solutions off into the cosmic shitter. Seriously, I’ve done upwards of 500 lessons in the past few days and none of them are available if I click them on my portfolio or from the curriculum page (or even if I download “all my data” from my settings page) … the cosmic shitter has them.

Retrospective on “Javascript Algorithms And Data Structures Certification (300 hours)”

Well, firstly, it took me under 8, but I’m pretty comfortable with both JavaScript and Algorithms and Data Structures. I could easily see it taking 300 (or even double/triple that) if you’re new to programming. I’m not really convinced that giving an hours estimate is that helpful because, really, when you get down to it, how long it’s going to take is going to be different for everyone and I think saying “300 hours” is pretty detrimental to morale of true beginners who might well take longer.

Some of the new lessons are brilliant. JavaScript is now covered much more thoroughly — there was a vast improvement to the JS coverage in the revamp. Seriously. It’s much better.

That said, though the individual lessons were much better, and the sequences within a section are quite good, the overall sequence would have benefited a lot from a bit of analysis and restructuring. In several cases, “the basics” came dozens of lessons and several sections later in the sequence than more advanced topics. Case in point, one early lesson relies on the use of Array.map and any solution that doesn’t use map is not accepted — neither the lesson, nor any lesson before it mentioned map, and map doesn’t first appear in the curriculum until several sections later. I very much got the impression that the sequence was drawn up and finalized without anyone ever actually going through the entire section start to finish and ordering them logically so later lessons build on earlier ones.

Additionally, this section would really benefit from a “for more information” page wrap-up. The content is much improved over the last FCC release, but there are still gaps. There should, at minimum, be links to MDN — there used to be, but they seem to all be gone now.

Pro Tip #2:

Don’t take FCC’s curriculum as all you need to know. When, you’re learning a section, also consult the official docs. By this I mean: hit up MDN for HTML/CSS/JavaScript — and nodejs.org or reactjs.org or whatever the official site is for whatever you happen to be using. You’ll find that there’s a wealth of additional information available to you. Don’t just FCC and StackOverflow your way through the curriculum, you’d be doing yourself a disservice.

Pro Tip #3:

https://repl.it/ is awesome