Free Code Camp Front End Development Program

I have recently completed Free Code Camp's Front End Development Program and received a certificate. Here are my thoughts on the program and Free Code Camp in general.<!--more-->

First of all I need to say that I'm not exactly target audience for Free Code Camp. I am a Computer Science student. I knew how to program in various languages and different algorithms well before I joined Free Code Camp. However I had very little experience with web development. My knowledge was stuck back in the day of tables and I had no idea that there was such a thing as front end framework.

Because I had previous programming experience learning Javascript was really easy. Trivial one would say. Therefore I didn't learn much completing standard challenges where you put your answer into a sort of Javascript playground on Free Code Camp's website. With that said I think those lessons are very valuable for anyone who is just starting with programming.

However I learned a lot by building Front End projects which are part of the curriculum. In fact I pushed myself to learn React for the last two projects. I will now go over all the projects I've built and try to explain what I wanted to do and what I learned.

Tribute Page

I decided to make a tribute page for one of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors. I've learned basics of bootstrap and responsive design.

Personal Portfolio Webpage

This was a weird one. I think the Porfolio challenge should be somewhere near the end of the program. In your porfolio you want to showcase what you know not just by linking to it but also with the code of the portfolio itself. And when you are just starting you don't really know anything to make it stand out. This is my least well made project and I didn't even care. I might revisit this project some time later.

Random Quote Machine

With this project I've learned basic API usage and DOM manipulation with jQuery. The name Infinite Improbability Quote Machine is a play on Infinite Improbability Drive from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Local Weather App

This project is hosted on heroku because I wanted to protect my API keys. I decided to use Weather Underground as my weather service of choice because it worked best for my needs. I further developed my knowledge of APIs and parsing the JSON responses.

Wikipedia Viewer

Again with the APIs. This time I threw in some jQuery animation for good measure.

Twitch.tv Viewer

For this project I decided to ditch Bootstrap and learn CSS Flexbox. It is pretty simple and most of what you need to know is here

Pomodoro Clock

I've strived for a minimalistic design. This project was an excercise in Javascript and Event Listeners.

Javascript Calculator

Instead of making a traditional calculator I decided to make an expression evaluator. That is it will first convert any mathematical expression (using + - * / and parantheses) to postfix notation. Then it will evaluate the postfix expression and output the result. I wrote in pure JavaScript without JQuery or any other framework.

Tic Tac Toe

For the last to projects I wanted to challenge myself more and to learn some Javascript framework. In the end I decided to learn React because I have found a great course that theaches the fundamentals of React and React Router.

The Tic Tac Toe AI is powered by the classic minimax algorithm. You can find the code here

Simon Game

I've used React again. The code can be found here

Conclusion

Free Code Camp is a great introductory course whether you are a total beginner or a seasoned programmer wanting to dive into web development. Your next step should probably be either continuing with Free Code Camp to learn back end development or learning some front end framework like Angular, React or Vue