Bi-Weekly Learning Update (8!)

Over the past week I’ve been cramming to finish the Odin Project’s Web Development 101 course, and I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to do it! I’ve also finished my evening course in Web Design, and went to a learn-to-code meetup! [It’s been a busy couple of weeks- I think I need a nap…]

The last few sections of the Odin Project touched on SSL and security, Software as a Service, and then zoomed out to discuss concepts like agile development. I felt like it was all really useful information, and it was a nice little change from what I’d been doing. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Odin Project lately- there’s a lot more to it than the course that I’ve just completed, and I find myself at a bit of a crossroads as to what to do next. At this point, I could make the switch to Free Code Camp, and really dive into JavaScript, or carry on with the Odin Project. I do really like working with JavaScript and jQuery, and I’d love to learn more and become really great with it, but I wonder which course will be best for me if I intend on working freelance [as opposed to working for a company]

The web design evening course that I was taking finished this week, and honestly, I think I’m a bit relieved. It was just a six-week taster course, but it was pre-level one, and a bit too basic for where I’m at right now. Judging by some of the lecturer’s comments I’d probably be ready to start the level three course in September, but hopefully I’ll actually be well past that level by then, so I won’t be taking any more evening classes for a while!

The meetup that I went to was great! It reminded me of why I like meetups so much, and how nice people can be; there were loads of people learning to code, and a lot of mentors [I shared my mentor with one other person, so had plenty of time to ask questions and get advice] who were there to answer questions and help us on projects we were working on. I took advantage of speaking to someone who actually knew what they were doing to work on some jQuery for the Creative Canvas project I’m working on, making some pretty great progress! It’s a monthly meetup, so I’m definitely looking forward to going back later this month.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Odin Project vs Free Code Camp, and what would work best for me, if anyone has any insights I’d love to hear them!

6 thoughts on “Bi-Weekly Learning Update (8!)

  1. Hi Andrea! I’ve contacted you before by Twitter. I’m a reader of yours and other dev blogs and will insist: if you want valuable insights and share your own experience with other people going through TOP too (me included), join our community!

    – Facebook Group:
    – Our brand new Slack channel: You can get an invite via
    Even Quincy Larson from FCC is there 🙂

    TOP also has an official Slack channel you can find on the “Social Tab” (that was a project of the community), our channel goes beyond the curriculum and is open to everybody who is learning.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey! Thanks- I’ve been dragging my feet on joining any groups though, just until I figure out what I want to do next… Still not decided though! 😛


  2. Glad to hear you’re still on track. I’m using to learn UI/UX design and would gladly recommend it if you are keen on taking another online course. As for FCC vs TOP, I think you just need to decide if you want to learn full-stack JS or Ruby/rails.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m still not sure which will be best if I’m looking at freelancing… I think I looked into Hack Design- it looks like a great course, hope you’re enjoying it!


  3. Hi Andrea,

    I’m about 6 weeks in to FCC, having initially considered TOP, so its interesting to read your journey on ‘the other side’, as it were! I chose FCC in the end primarily as I think javascript is a more marketable skill, and something I would need to be proficient at whether I end up preferring front end or full stack. Also, remember FCC offers the non-profit projects which will be great for a portfolio and references. The community is really active and helpful and the curriculum is actively being developed. FCC doesn’t seems to have as much breadth as TOP – eg. it shies away from the design and UX side of things, git, testing etc. I keep dipping in to a few of TOP topics that interest me, so you could do a bit of both.

    Hope this helps a bit – as others have said it really boils down to javascript vs ruby, which is a whole different conversation! For what its worth I doubt it makes much difference which is best for freelance – if you gain the skills to create valuable products, can demonstrate this to potential clients then that should be what matters. Completing TOP or FCC will no doubt just be the starting point.

    PS: Which meetup are you going to? I’ve been at the last 2 CodeUp Manchester – worth a look if you’re not going already!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey! Thanks- it’s really helpful to hear about FCC objectively (you mentioned that it doesn’t go into git or testing). I started doing some of FCC last night and got through the html and css waypoints, and had a pretty good look at the curriculum. I think you’re really onto something- the way forward might be to do bits of each (or follow one curriculum and pick bits from the other)

      I think that what this comes down to is which language I want to learn FIRST…

      And yes! I was at the last CodeUp! 🙂 it was the first one I’ve been able to get to, and I’ve been to a Ladies Who Code as well (which was really good, but defo not for newbies!)


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