14th of December 2015 is undoubtedly one of the most important days of my life. That day I discovered Free Code Camp and fell in love with JavaScript (and programming in general). Fast-forward to 25th of June 2016 and here I am – completing the last project for Front End Certification.

The way it all started

Before I’ll talk about Free Code Camp and my latest milestone let me share a story of how I started coding. Ready?

During my high school times I spend most of my time outside of class. The subjects were boring and unchallenging so frankly speaking I wasn’t interested in going to school. So how I spend my days? I was playing guitar extensively and started (I’m ashamed to admit it 😉 ) a blog. The content was.. well awful, but probably if I continued to post I’d be a hero to most (if not all) kids in elementary schools.

The fun part was actually forcing the content to display in the ways I wanted and creating different images for Facebook and posts. That’s how I came in touch with HTML, CSS, Photoshop and Illustrator. Tweaking my webpage and creating lot’s of designs sparked my initial interest.

I created my first web page during my freshman year at college with iWeb creator (yes, the old WSIWYG app for Mac OS). Then I experimented with WebFlow and finally decided to start learning how to code and create websites the proper way. Along the way I worked with couple of friends and family members to help them develop webpages.

The first course I came in touch with was Rob Percival’s Complete Web Developer Course I also started Codecademy courses. Rob’s course is one of the most comprehensive courses out there with a lot of creative insights and I would recommend checking it out if you think about learning how to code.

Unfortunately there’s also a major flaw. Those courses weren’t what I expected them to be. I could follow all the concepts, create code following examples but at the same time I wasn’t thinking like a programmer. That changed with Free Code Camp.

Free Code Camp Front End Adventure

This was the first well structured course I’ve seen. It helped me cover all the topics I was already familiar with (HTML5, CSS3, Bootstrap, JS, jQuery) and use them in real challenges were I can’t just copy code form the example but I have to analyze the problem and find the right solution to it.

The Free Code Camp is different from other courses because it teaches how to think like a developer and how to solve problem like one. At first I was slightly discouraged with the amount of content ( 450hours for the Front End Certificate) and I haven’t really believed I could ever finish that course. But here I am – I managed to complete the course build a fair amount of websites at the same time and even complete my degree in Law & Economics.

New challenges ahead

Today I know I want to develop web applications. In the following 12 months I’ll continue to learn MEAN Stack and work on creating different apps. In one month I’ll also start my master’s degree in Informatics and Econometrics, so a lot of changes are coming. In this Summer Of Code all that’s left to do is completing the Full Stack Specialization on Coursera (Node certification and Capstone project).

Writing this made me realize – summer is almost over…

As always if you have any questions/suggestions – comment below or message me on Twitter – @mrkaluzny.