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Why Free Code Camp?

Clark Alford
WordPress Webmaster
Published on Jun-04-2016

In my pursuit to become a more recognized Freelance Developer I learned about Free Code Camp. Since I’m already familiar with the LAMP stack, learning the MEAN stack is of interest to me. Due to the commitments of life, being able to learn at my own pace is very appealing to me. This is something Free Code Camp (FCC) offers. Perhaps the greatest selling point of all, to me, is being credentialed. Anyone on the internet can give themselves any tech title that they want. By getting certification from FCC I can prove to myself and to others that I truly am a Web Developer.

FCC is not the first school that I’ve come across in my pursuit of digital knowledge. I had taken courses and learned from Code School, Codecademy, KillerSites,, and Udemy. These are all great places to learn from. Some I would call schools, others I would say offer great courses. There is a concern talked about among employers and recruiters on LinkedIn, regarding just how valuable is it to have it on your resume from one of the above mentioned type of schools? Many of these types of schools you do something (like watch videos) or pass a test, and then you get an official looking icon to place on your LinkedIn profile. The argument employers and recruiters have is does that mean you can really do the job? A big selling point to me about FCC is you have to do many projects. In order to get your Full Stack Development Certification you have to do a (team) project for a real company (non profit) from start to finish. Having done some construction work in the past I like to think of it as hands on apprenticeship, to prove you can take all that you have learned and actually make it successful in a real work environment. Compared to the other schools out there including many developer boot camps; I think it would be hard to question the validity of a certificate earned from Free Code Camp.


nothing worth having is free


I often ask myself why every one doesn’t choose FCC vs. one of the other options. I mean you learn more with FCC (more hours) and nobody else can beat the price (it’s free). I suppose the positives can also be viewed as negatives depending on the person involved. Learning more (more projects, more hours), may be a turn off for some. I had experienced something similar before in life when I went for my CDL A license. You could go to the community college for free and the course was 40 hours a week for 10 weeks. Or pay thousands for a 3 day course over the weekend. Still true today most chose to pay thousands for the weekend course. Getting to the finish line the quickest may be more important to many; however, for myself, I would rather get to the finish line with the most amount of knowledge. The other aspect of why every one doesn’t choose FCC to me is the flexible schedule. To me working at my own pace is a positive; however, it appears, having too many options (freedom of when to attend school) isn’t for everyone. Two people, at the same time, can both be viewing FCC, yet see something different.

What can FCC do for me personally? Well I already know the LAMP stack, however my JavaScript is rusty. With FCC I’ll learn JavaScript both forwards (frontend) and backwards (backend). FCC will teach me the MEAN stack, which is in high demand with employers right now. I also think it is very helpful to have certifications from a reputable training program. Nothing beats experience however you get it, but it is a plus in my book for clients or employers to know that I’m certified. FCC offers a Front End Development Certification, a Data Visualization Certification, a Back End Development Certification, and a Full Stack Development Certification. The other great aspect of FCC is they prepare you for interviews. Many a great developer didn’t get the job, not because they couldn’t do it, but because they failed in the interview. FCC Coding Interview Process is 80 hours long. Once again, more hours more knowledge. Some may see that as a negative, but I see that as a big positive.

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time” – Creighton Abrams Jr.

The support system in place at FCC is almost too much. There are lots of places to find help at FCC. Various channels on Twitch; a YouTube channel; various Facebook groups around the world; various channels on Gitter; FCC has an informative blog; they’re on Reddit; they’re on Twitter; they have a group on LinkedIn; and FCC recently started their own forum. Some of us campers (that’s what students are called at FCC) even have a channel on Skype. If you can’t get help at FCC, in my opinion you’re not trying very hard.

According to Glendon Cameron, you need to know what you want in life before you set your financial goals. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know if you’re heading in the right direction. FCC will enable me to become a better freelancer and web developer; especially since I will be freelancing while going to school. Earn while you learn is my motto. Ideally I would like to remain a freelancer or be able to work remotely, like Chris the Freelancer. Graduating from FCC will make me more attractive to both clients and employers looking for remote workers. Soldiers march on and Coders keep Coding. The long journey (many hours compared to other schools) may not be worth it to some, but to me it will make getting to the finish line that much more rewarding. I believe I made a wise choice in choosing Free Code Camp to become a better Web Developer.