Why You Shouldn’t Take Harvard CS50

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I’m not saying that it is a bad course. But a lot of people are going to steer you into taking this type of course. And personally, I don’t think that it is needed.

I think that like taking a course like Harvard CS50, you are further kicking the can down the road.

If I was starting on day 1, I would:

1. Start on FreeCodeCamp

I would start learning HTML and CSS in the basic web design course that FreeCodeCamp offers. That is what I did. That is how I learned it. It only took me 3 weeks to learn.

Mind you, I was really putting in the hours every day. That is why I got through it in 3 to 4 weeks. So, I think if you are committed, you can do it in less than a month.

2. Take a JavaScript Course

Once you have completed the web design track on FreeCodeCamp, I would go on and take a JavaScript course and learn the basics.

If I were doing it all over again, I wouldn’t try to become a JavaScript master. Understand what a JavaScript function does before you list that you are a web developer on your resume.

Like, can you type a function on the console? This is a super basic concept that you should know how to do. This is basic JavaScript.

3. Build a project

Once you finish the basic JavaScript web development Course, I would build a project that you are interested in. Like ask yourself, what are your interests, what are your passions. What do you like?

Don’t build a Netflix clone. Everybody does that. Don’t build a Meta clone. Everybody does that.

Like, you should be original.

Do something that is unique and something that you are passionate about. Not what everyone else wants you to do.

And the advantage of this approach, is that, when you are actually building the thing, you are more likely to enjoy what it is that you are working on. Because you like the stuff that you are working on. It is something that you are actually passionate about.

So, for me, I am interested in Career development. So, I build a job board. And I really like doing that because I am super interested in whatever it is that I was building.

4. Build project without framework

Make sure that you do it the language script of any frameworks. This is important because it reinforces the fundamental basics understanding of the language of your choice.

Like, you want to know the basics. Like, how to write functions. Like, how to write a for loop in JavaScript.

It is only about after you have developed this project in the vanilla language of your choice that you can build it in a framework.

So, after I was done building this project in Vanilla JavaScript, I then decided to rebuild the project in the framework of my choice which was React.

I was able to better understand React as a result. Like I really understood the basics of JavaScript.

This is SUPER important. Because a lot of people are going to tell you that you should immediately start building in the framework of you choice.

Happy Coding!
Karl 👊

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