The biggest benefit so far of this course has been something I did not expect at all, it’s changed the way I see a webpage.
But first, why this course and why now? One of the major benefits of being almost a decade out of college and in the middle of a career change is that I know myself and my learning style. I find it very helpful for retaining information and building momentum when I circle back on a topic I’m not currently focused on in the bootcamp. I just finished up the frontend section of the bootcamp so it made sense to circle back on and reinforce some of those basics. Also, I’ll be taking a pay cut when I make the initial switch into tech, so I wanted to polish off some skills so I can take on some freelance projects to supplement my income.
I’m 4 weeks into the 8 week course and so far it’s been a valuable reinforcement of content I knew and a good introduction to basic web design concepts. Once the course begins you get access to all the content broken up by week, which allowed me to quickly pass through the content I already knew and spend more time on the new topics. I’m actually on week 6 according to content progress, but week 4 by time.
In the bootcamp we touch on almost all of this content but it comes at such a fast pace, especially HTML, CSS and responsive design, that I knew it but I wasn’t as confident as I feel now. I feel that the topics were presented very intentionally and taught in a style that made for easy retention. Maybe that is due to Codecademy’s approach or maybe just the fact that I am circling back on things I’ve already been exposed and am now polishing off my knowledge a bit.
The biggest difference I feel in this course is that in the bootcamp you’re learning from a firehose and that’s perfect for the breadth of skills they are teaching. But since this course is covering so much less information than a bootcamp, it was a welcome change to have a steady stream of information. Every lesson or two is followed by a project directly relating to that content which greatly helped with the reinforcement.
Like the bootcamp, you have a mentor that you meet with each week. Since I’m taking the course for reinforcement, we get to really dive into practical conversations about his experience or what its like working with freelance clients. He has been a huge help in his willingness to be flexible to what my actual needs are instead of sticking to some curriculum or agenda for our meetings. This has been a real benefit of the course, to get to ask questions I have about actual freelance work and to learn how another developer approaches his work and the resources he uses. This has been especially helpful since I am in the middle of a career change and nobody I know really even knows what web development is, let alone can discuss it.
The biggest benefit so far of this course has been something I did not expect at all, it’s changed the way I see a webpage. One of the topics we covered that was new to me was Flexbox. This was the first project that gave me trouble, quite frankly it sucked at first because I still only saw a webpage as a flat document. After hashing through the projects for the Flexbox lessons, I got more and more comfortable using it and seeing how the page should be setup. I started to see the webpage in a totally different way, all of a sudden it was parts and layers. It felt like magic.
Again, since I’m taking this course for the purpose of reinforcement, I’d say the biggest con for me specifically is that I don’t really relate to other students in the group chat. But this is to be expected and is made up for greatly in the conversations and depth I’m able to dive into with my mentor.