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Quinton Raymond
Quinton Raymond

Posted on • Updated on

Newbie to Full-Stack Developer with The Odin Project

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 β€œhello 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.

Top comments (16)

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optimbro profile image
Rahul

Welcome to the TOP mate, and thanks for sharing the article.I'm on Javascript Basics Part 2 (fundamentals), lets see how it goes.

I'm also coming from trying multiple resources :D

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1mran profile image
Abdullah Al Noor Nobi

Hi! How is your experience with TOP so far?

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optimbro profile image
Rahul

I paused and completed Jonas JS course from Udemy, TOP needs more time, and I was running out of time. I still check it as side learning path though, its good.

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1mran profile image
Abdullah Al Noor Nobi

HI! I hope you are doing well and reaching your goals. I paused TOP too because it seems too much comprehensive for me at the moment. I am trying to learn from Colt's course from Udemy. However, I want to get back to TOP as soon as possible.
By the way, how is Jonas JS course? Would you recommend it for beginner?

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sharonytlau profile image
Sharon Lau

Hi! I'm also a beginner and trying to pick a course on web development. My top two choices are TOP and Colt's course. Any suggestions or comments on these two? Thanks!

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optimbro profile image
Rahul

As per my experience, if you want to start with web development fast while learning things in deep, not scrathing things, I would recommened.

Take a dedicated course of Javascript by Jonas Schmadtmann (Udemy), instead of all in one web developement course.

You can skip the last forkify project but complete all sections till OOP. This course alone will build your confidence, and you can start working with any JS framework like React, Vue, Svelete etc but don't do it.

Instead, make some HTML/CSS projects with JS (learn from HTML/CSS from TOP module), and also watch some tutorials on flexbox/cssgrid on you tube, and do some codealong projects with them.

Code daily, take all Jonas challenges in his course, repeat, and come back later to some topics again.

Then after 3-4 months of continuos learning, you can go furthur and learn JS framework, and if you choose React, then check React course by Codevolution in Youtube, follow his complete playlist, and do some project based React courses by CodingAddict youtube channel.

PS: I shared my experience

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sharonytlau profile image
Sharon Lau

Hi Rahul, thanks a lot for sharing your experience! Happy for you to figure out a good path to gain a firm grasp on web development on your self-taught journeyπŸ‘. May I ask about the approximate number of hours you've spent during the 3-4 months of learning JS fundamentals? As I would very much like to check out the JavaScript course you've recommended.

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optimbro profile image
Rahul

Hi Sharon,

Sorry for my late reply.

I usually spent 3-4 hours per day. It was very hard for me because I do Full time job to feed my family. 😬

I stopped watching movies, shows, memes, going outside etc.

And I have to take break as well time to time, and come back with fresh mind.

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sharonytlau profile image
Sharon Lau

Hi Rahul,

Thanks a lot!

I can emphasize with you. It does take a lot of self-discipline to study while having a full-time job. I spent 1-2 hours per day on weekdays to study and a little more hours on weekends.

I do need TV shows and some outdoor activities to relax (telling myself it's time for the diffuse mode of thinking). πŸ˜€

I should probably get more hardworking (like you). Your efforts will pay off! : )

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optimbro profile image
Rahul

"(telling myself it's time for the diffuse mode of thinking)" I also do the same while eating food. This is good way, and its required.. haha

Best of luck for your future :)

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carlosds profile image
Karel De Smet • Edited on

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...

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qbobb profile image
Quinton Raymond

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!

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valeria27 profile image
Valeria

I am doing TOP too and I am loving it❀
I am still in the installation partπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚but I had learned a few things.
Thanks for sharing and wish you the best on your journey!😊

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vanshsh profile image
Vansh Sharma

You should join twitter.
Bcoz tech community there is very helpful.

You can check my twitter account I also make content on web development.
twitter.com/Vanshsh2701

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killyou2010 profile image
owusu Richard

Thank you very much for the ordin.

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qbobb profile image
Quinton Raymond

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

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