Cover image for Newbie to Full-Stack Developer with The Odin Project

Newbie to Full-Stack Developer with The Odin Project

qbobb profile image Quinton Bobb ・2 min read

I previously uploaded this post to my Medium profile but figured this might be a better audience for encouragement and accountability.

Over the last 4 years, I have flirted with web development constantly. I chipped away at FreeCodeCamp’s Responsive Web Design Certification, paid for two full years of CodeCademy Pro, thought about signing up for Treehouse.

I even had a mid-COVID-19 quarantine crisis and enrolled in a Data Science Bootcamp at General Assembly. The bootcamp was hell. I lasted 6 weeks before admitting that I was not remotely prepared to use Statistics, Python, Pandas, and the fundamentals of Machine Learning in a paid position– full-time. I panicked, dropped out, and continued clicking through the mountains of modules at FreeCodeCamp.

Then I found The Odin Project.

The Odin Project (TOP) seemed too good to be true. It was FREE, self-paced, gave access to live support through Discord, and required students to set up an integrated development environment (IDE). It was absolutely packed with outside resources which meant that it was designed for genuine engagement and self-discovery. And most importantly (to me), it required students to begin using the CLI immediately. TOP was the only truly robust, free program that taught students how to code as they would IRL. Without sandboxes.

I read a few reviews and decided to start off with the Full Stack Ruby on Rails track. I’m one week in and still (re)reviewing the fundamentals of HTML and CSS. Only this time I actually feel like I’m learning– AND remembering things!

I wrote this post as a “hello world” to introduce my personal web development journey. I mostly plan to use it as a space to write tutorials for myself, share things that I find interesting/useful, and hold myself accountable in making real progress.

Ideally, I would like to complete TOP in its entirety within a year. However, if I don’t complete it at that pace I’m not going to beat myself up.

This time I'm committed to making consistent progress, and I'm looking to find encouragement and guidance along the way.

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Quinton Bobb


(He/Him) | Diversity | Equity | Full-Stack Student | Books | Plants


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Hi Quinton,

First of all, I wanna say good luck on the journey. It seems like you're highly motivated to make it as a software engineer.
And I think your story of "clicking through mountains of modules" will resonate with a lot of people (including myself) that have used tools such as FreeCodeCamp, Codecademy, Treehouse, The Odin Project ... in their coding journey. I'm not saying these aren't relevant and you should abandon them completely. But if you feel that you aren't making enough progress after going through all those modules on different websites, wouldn't it be wiser to try out other methods?

I have no idea where your interests lie or what else you're already trying, but I'd encourage you to:

  • Read a book about software development or start listening to podcasts that you might like. Don't get lost in consuming media though.
  • Try other resources that have proven very valuable to people trying to start a career in web development: CodeWars, Udemy courses ...
  • Find projects on Github that you have an interest for and start using them. Scan the "issues" section for questions that you might be able to answer and try to help out other people in that way, whilst learning about the software as well. This has the added advantage that you will (undoubtedly) be noticed by members of the community. They might overrule your answer from time to time, but that's beneficial to your learning path.
  • Try to develop something, based on your own needs or interests, as soon as possible. Even if it's something that looks benign, like the ones I've already created, it will be of much greater value than anything else you'll do. Developing your personal website is a classic in that regard. You'll learn so much from it, regardless of whether you're using a static site generator or a Java back-end. But don't overdo it, just get a version live ASAP. In the beginning, no one besides you will be watching, so there's more than enough time to fix what needs fixing.

If you'd like work together on a project, let me know. I'm open for that.
I still have some ideas in my pocket, the most concrete on building a mini library (representing my own books) with Node.js, MongoDB (or MySQL is also fine) and Angular. I had a stab at it about a year ago (with React instead of Angular) but got stuck along the way...


Karel, thanks so much for the suggestions! I have spent some time working through CodeWars challenges and an Intro. to Web Development on Udemy as well as The Odin Project. At the moment I am content working through the lessons as I am still trying to get a better handle on the fundamentals. I will for sure let you know when I am up for a project! A mini-library sounds like a fun project to try out. I will reach out when I feel like I'm ready for project collaboration. Thanks again for the encouragement and suggestions!


Thank you very much for the ordin.


I'm happy to share my experience, I hope you find it encouraging!