freeCodeCamp Review (Dec 2022): Why We Don’t Like It

November 14, 2022
Reviews

freeCodeCamp is a non-profit organization that aims to help anyone interested in coding learn all the skills they could ever need. It has many positive features to help its users achieve that task, such as the fact that it's completely free, it's easy to use, has thousands of hours of coding lessons (some with video), and it provides you with the opportunity to put what you've learned to the test by working for other non-profit organizations.

However, it also has a few heavy cons that don't allow me to recommend it as your only interview prep resource: for instance, the concepts featured in the coding lessons are not explained in enough depth, and while freeCodeCamp's curriculum is extensive on the technical side, there is almost no material to prepare you for the soft side of the interview. For these reasons, I instead recommend that you use Tech Interview Pro: with a money-back guarantee and thousands of student success stories, I can't recommend Tech Interview Pro highly enough.

GET TECH INTERVIEW PRO FOR $400 OFF
Offer ends December 9, 2022.

What Is freeCodeCamp?

freeCodeCamp is a non-profit organization that aims to help anyone interested in coding learn all the skills they could ever need. freeCodeCamp is located in California, and since 2014, more than 40,000 freeCodeCamp.org graduates have gotten jobs at top tech companies, including Apple, Google, Spotify, Amazon, and Microsoft.

This platform has many positive traits that make it an attractive coding resource, such as the fact that it's completely free, it's easy to use, has thousands of hours of coding lessons (some with video), and it provides you with the opportunity to put what you've learned to the test by working for other non-profit organizations.

To kickstart this freeCodeCamp review, let's take a look at this platform's pros, cons, and features.

freeCodeCamp Features

#1 Intuitive User Interface

free code camp review

freeCodeCamp's user interface is extremely intuitive and easy to use, with a simple design that will be a blessing to navigate for absolute beginners to the world of coding. From your perspective, you'll be able to see the lesson instructions, code editor, output, and code display all in one view, making it a convenient way that wastes no time in navigation.

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All of these characteristics make freeCodeCamp's user interface perfect for beginners, but more advanced coders might find this interface to be a bit barren of features. Still, even the more experienced coders can find value in freeCodingCamp's later lessons, as you can freely jump from lesson to lesson without having to see previous lessons first.

#2 Thousands Of Hours Of Coding Lessons

freeCodeCamp's greatest strength is the fact that it offers thousands of hours of coding lessons for absolutely free. Each freeCodeCamp certification takes around 300 hours to complete. Considering that there are 11 different certifications that you can get, that all adds up to a whopping 3,300 hours of coding content that you can take without paying a single penny.

Whether you're interested in Responsive Web Design, Front End Web Development, Data Visualization, Relational Databases, Back End Web Development, or even Information Security and Machine Learning in Python, freeCodeCamp has your back with a near-endless wealth of information.

#3 freeCodeCamp User Forums

freeCodeCamp's forums are where the majority of the platform's community resides, and it's another wealth of information that you can tap into without having to pay anything. Here, users are free to ask any question they come up with, and other freeCodeCamp users will gladly help them with any problem they encounter as they're learning with the platform.

Additionally, you can use the forums to communicate with more experienced users, and you can ask them to help you improve your skills as well. Considering just how many interview platforms lack features like these, it's a breath of fresh air to see that you have a way of talking to other freeCodeCamp users to sharpen your coding skills even more.

#4 Non-Profit Organization Work As Practice

One feature that distinguishes freeCodeCamp from the rest of other interview prep resources is that it has partnerships with other non-profit organizations. It may not sound like much on its own, but considering that you can work for these non-profit organization partners once you've gone through the coding lessons and earned your certifications, it's a pretty huge deal.

This means that not only will you learn about coding from a theoretical standpoint, but you'll also be able to get hands-on practice with what you've learned in a real-world environment. Not only is it a holistic learning experience that will solidify your knowledge, but this experience will also look great on your resume, giving you a better chance to do well in your technical interviews once you start the job hunt.

#5 Free Verified Certifications

freeCodeCamp's curriculum covers a lot of ground, and the best part is that you can get a free verified certification at the end of each discipline you decide to take. Here's a brief overview of each certification that freeCodeCamp offers:

  1. Responsive Web Design Certification: In this certification, you'll learn about the coding languages that a web developer uses to build web pages. These are known as HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) for content, and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) for design.
  2. JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Certification: In this certification, you'll learn the basic programming concepts of JavaScript, a functional programming language that's used to make web pages interactive. These fundamentals include variables, arrays, objects, loops, and functions.
  3. Front-End Development Libraries Certification: In this certification, you'll learn how to style your site further and faster with Bootstrap, one of the most popular front-end libraries. You'll also learn how to add logic to your CSS styles and extend them with Sass.
  4. Data Visualization Certification: With this certification, you'll learn how to build charts, graphs, and maps to present different types of data with the D3.js library.
  5. Relational Database (Beta) Certification: In this certification, you'll learn how to create and use a relational database with PostgreSQL, a database management system, and SQL, the language used in these databases.
  6. Back-End Development and APIs Certification: With this certification, you'll learn how to write back-end apps with Node.js and npm (Node Package Manager). You'll also build web applications with the Express framework, and build a People Finder microservice with MongoDB and the Mongoose library.
  7. Quality Assurance Certification: In this certification, you'll learn how to write tests with Chai to ensure your applications work the way you expect them to. After that, you'll be tasked with building a chat application to learn advanced Node and Express concepts.
  8. Scientific Computing With Python Certification: With this certification, you'll learn Python fundamentals like variables, loops, conditionals, and functions. Once that's done, you'll quickly ramp up to complex data structures, networking, relational databases, and data visualization.
  9. Data Analysis With Python Certification: Here, you'll learn the fundamentals of data analysis with Python. By the end of this certification, you should be able to read data from sources like CSVs and SQL, as well as how to use libraries like Numpy, Pandas, Matplotlib, and Seaborn to process and visualize data.
  10. Information Security Certification: With this certification, you'll build a secure web app with HelmetJS to learn the fundamentals of protecting the information of other people online. You'll also build a TCP client, an Nmap, and a port scanner in Python, which will help you learn the basics of penetration testing (an important component of good information security).
  11. Machine Learning With Python Certification: In this certification, you'll use the TensorFlow framework to build several neural networks and explore more advanced techniques like natural language processing and reinforcement learning. You'll also dive into neural networks and learn the principles behind how deep, recurrent, and convolutional neural networks work.

#6 freeCodeCamp News

freeCodeCamp also has a news section on its webpage that will allow you to access a plethora of articles, guides, and tutorials filled to the brim with information relevant to coding, which only adds even more value to an already extensive platform.

This news section also covers information regarding upcoming coding events where you can pressure-test what you've learned in this platform through coding competitions against other coders, which is a feature that some experienced programmers will definitely enjoy seeing.

Pros Of freeCodeCamp

  • Completely free to use.
  • Thousands of hours' worth of coding lessons are available at your fingertips.
  • Gives you the opportunity to work for other non-profit organizations so that you can put what you've learned to the test, giving you a holistic learning experience.
  • Provides free verified certifications.
  • Has an intuitive user interface that can be easily navigated by beginners.
  • The platform has its own user forums, which allow you to make any question you can think of and provide you with even more feedback.

Cons Of freeCodeCamp

  • The concepts featured could be explained in more depth.
  • No mock interviews or soft skills material.

freeCodeCamp Pricing

As mentioned previously, freeCodeCamp is completely free to use. Sure, you can donate to the platform if you feel thankful for what you've learned when using it, but it's not mandatory and the entirety of freeCodeCamp's content is 100% accessible without having to pay a single dollar.

Our Recommendation: Tech Interview Pro

Considering that freeCodeCamp is free, I'm actually pleasantly surprised by how much it offers, and it would be a lie to say that this platform isn't an effective way to practice for your upcoming technical interviews. However, while effective, it's certainly not optimal, and it has a few sizeable cons that don't allow it to be: for instance, the concepts featured in the coding lessons are not explained in enough depth, which can make you leave a lesson with a lot of unanswered doubts.

Additionally, while freeCodeCamp's curriculum is extensive on the technical side, there is almost no material to prepare you for the soft side of the interview (such as your communication skills). This side of the interview is crucial, and not having a sharp set of soft skills could lead to disastrous consequences when job-hunting.

Because of these cons, I can't recommend freeCodeCamp as your only resource to prepare for these interviews. Instead, I'd recommend Tech Interview Pro: here are a few reasons why.

#1 Thorough Video Lessons

Tech Interview Pro will prepare you for every aspect of your technical interviews, not just your technical skills: and it'll be making sure it leaves no stone unturned.

Here’s an outline of Tech Interview Pro:

  1. Understanding The Interview Process
  2. Four Axes of the Interview
    1. Coding
    2. Data Structures & Algorithms
    3. Systems Design
    4. Communication
  3. Interviewing Masterclass
  4. Data Structures & Algorithms
  5. 100+ Coding Sessions
  6. The Mock Interview
  7. Systems Design
  8. Transitioning Careers
  9. Negotiating & Accepting Your Offer

As you can see, there are hours of technical and behavioral content in there, and that’s how you’ll set yourself apart from everyone else who preferred to use freeCodeCamp.

#2 Led By An Industry Insider

Tech Interview Pro is run by an industry veteran who has reverse-engineered the hiring process to give you the best chance of success.

TechLead (Patrick Shyu) has grown his own websites to millions of users, spent his recent years working at Facebook and Google, and has conducted over 100 technical interviews for Google. You simply can't ask for a better instructor here.

#3 Resume Reviews

TechLead will personally review your resume and help you tailor it for the position and the company you’re pursuing.

This is a very handy feature: after all, your resume will probably be a recruiter’s first interaction with you, so you need to make sure it leaves a lasting impression.

GET TECH INTERVIEW PRO FOR $400 OFF
Offer ends December 9, 2022.

In Summary

freeCodeCamp is a non-profit organization that aims to help anyone interested in coding learn all the skills they could ever need. It has many positive features to help its users achieve that task, such as the fact that it's completely free, it's easy to use, has thousands of hours of coding lessons (some with video), and it provides you with the opportunity to put what you've learned to the test by working for other non-profit organizations.

However, it also has a few heavy cons that don't allow me to recommend it as your only interview prep resource: for instance, the concepts featured in the coding lessons are not explained in enough depth, and while freeCodeCamp's curriculum is extensive on the technical side, there is almost no material to prepare you for the soft side of the interview. For these reasons, I instead recommend that you use Tech Interview Pro: with a money-back guarantee and thousands of student success stories, I can't recommend Tech Interview Pro highly enough.

GET TECH INTERVIEW PRO FOR $400 OFF
Offer ends December 9, 2022.

freeCodeCamp Review FAQs

How Much Does freeCodeCamp Cost?

freeCodeCamp is free to use. You can donate to the platform if you desire, but the content found within it is 100% accessible for no cost whatsoever.

Is freeCodeCamp Worth It?

Yes, freeCodeCamp is worth it because it offers thousands of coding lessons, the opportunity to work for non-profit organizations to solidify your skills, and certified verifications for free. However, it's not ideal to use freeCodeCamp on its own to prepare for your technical interviews with FAANG companies, which is why I recommend to complement its use with resources like Tech Interview Pro.

Is freeCodeCamp Safe?

Yes, freeCodeCamp is safe because you don't have anything to lose when using it, considering that it's free. Additionally, the platform has many testimonials from its users that testify to the platform's effectiveness, further adding to its legitimacy. 

Is freeCodeCamp Legit? 

Yes, freeCodeCamp is legit because the platform has many testimonials from its users that testify to the platform's effectiveness. Considering that thousands of freeCodeCamp students have landed jobs at companies like Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple thanks to what they've learned when using freeCodeCamp, it's hard to argue the legitimacy of the platform. 

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