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Extracurricular Resources

When I decided to learn to code, I chose Skillcrush for my classes. I really needed the go-at-your-own-pace structure, the cost seemed reasonable, and I clicked with the vibe of the videos and course layout. It’s been a wonderful way for me to get started.

However, I’m also someone who really benefits from knowing the deeper and broader context for things. Last month, when I came back to my classes and investing more time in learning to code, I sought out some other resources, like freeCodeCamp, the Mozilla Developer Network, and the Mimo app to brush up on my HTML and CSS skills which had been languishing since 2020. I found it super helpful!

Just to see the same things presented in a different way, or different order, or in a different context absolutely helped me to feel more confident in my grasp of the languages. Trying to follow certain people on tech Twitter, is also helpful for me, so I can get some familiarity with the current landscape, see what’s new or on the horizon, and also see how things are actually used by actual developers.

Now that I’ve started in on JavaScript, I’m starting to do the same thing. I’m going through the Skillcrush course, but also supplementing with freeCodeCamp, and in addition started reading Eloquent JavaScript by Marjin Haverbeke. I had planned on buying a copy at some point, but after finding out it was available for free online (thanks, @mckennabramble for the heads up!), I figured I could read the intro and see if I wanted to continue.

There are many terrible mistakes to make in program design, and you should go ahead and make them so that you understand them.

With quotes like these in just the intro, how could I not continue? 🤣

There are those who will say terrible things about JavaScript. Many of these things are true.

So, yesterday, I finished reading through Chapter 2 and went through the exercises at the end and encountered the FizzBuzz problem! (I had no idea it had a history beyond programming problems, so reading the Wiki was interesting.)

I’d heard people reference it in podcasts (CodeNewbie included!) and it was nice to tackle it myself. My code worked! But, after comparing it to the solution presented in the book, I felt far from clever or eloquent. Which is fine, of course. I think cleverness, and eloquence, will come with familiarity and practice. The last exercise in Chapter 2 is creating a chessboard configuration of any size. Hoping I can figure it out today, without encountering too much frustration. 🤞

I've heard lots of good things about CodeWars and Exercism, too, and plan to check them out soon.

Are there any resources you like to use to supplement your main study materials or classes?

Top comments (3)

mckennabramble profile image
McKenna Bramble

Thank you for sharing these resources! I haven't come across CodeWars or Exercism before, but will def be checking them out. I also had no idea that FizzBuzz was used so often in programming interviews. My answer for it was also not as concise as the one the book provided.

mb_shack profile image
Mallory Shackford

Sounds like you're quickly gaining traction, even with your time away!
I love CodeWars, and try to do at least 2 kata per day along with my other studies. Have you used Stack Overflow before? It's definitely helped me a ton over the past few months.

mistydb profile image

Thank you, Mallory!

I have been trying to attempt a few kata per day on CodeWars - usually until I don't even know where to start in solving one.

I've encountered Stack Overflow when searching for specific things, but I'll have to check it out more generally.