Daily life English On learning

Learning to program #1

This time I'm learning to code!

person programming


Three weeks ago I started an online self-study course with a friend. We’re learning with freeCodeCamp. We just started, and it’s our first time, so we began with the schedule “(New) Responsive Web Design Certification”. We hope to get through everything bit by bit and also develop our portfolio. Our goals differ a bit, she wants to use her new knowledge mainly to apply it at work. I hope to use my new competence more commercially.

FreeCodeCamp and campfire

Cat Photo App

Our first assignment was “Learn HTML by Building a Cat Photo App.” In 69 steps, you build a simple website with photos and buttons to send and collect pictures of cats. We completed this in one week + one week of “homework.”

cute cat with blue eyes

It takes two

The fact that there are two of us doing it is very important to me. That way you are less likely to drop out and it is also useful to discuss a problem together. The instructions on freeCodeCamp are not always clear and you sometimes have to search a bit before you have entered the right information. That way you learn by doing, but remembering it is not always obvious.

We will take our classes in my apartment in the beginning, but when my daughter is born and she can also be alone for an hour or two, we’ll continue on the move. In a library or café. That way my boyfriend can take care of her and I will have some “me-time” away from home. In my mind, it is similar to taking a course in a CVO or at Syntra (Belgian schools for adults). The differences are that it is free and without a teacher + we can choose when to do the tasks. In terms of content, it would probably be similar.

women high five and working


Needless to say, I already have several dreams in my head to execute with this new knowledge. For work, there are a few projects that are on my list, such as an app to enter teacher attendance, after which absent colleagues receive an automatic email asking for accountability.

Another work-related project is a classroom evaluation app with recognition of written evaluations to automatically populate a portfolio. For this app, without a doubt, I am still grabbing a little too high.

Myself, I also have some little projects in mind, but I would rather not share them yet, because I think they are too good! Maybe someone would beat me to it and then I would be standing there with my half-baked programming knowledge without an app or website.

The next assignments in the course are:

  • Learn Basic CSS by Building a Cafe Menu
  • Learn CSS Colors by Building a Set of Colored Markers
  • Learn HTML Forms by Building a Registration Form
woman dreaming

Certification Project

At the end of each series, there is a “Certification Project.” In the first one, we will create a “Survey Form” to collect information from users. I will probably go through all the little projects a second time before I start the last of this section, to make sure I have it fixed in my brain. I might also make variations of the assignments, in creating my projects. If I understand correctly, it’s more important to build a portfolio if you want to do some programming than to get a “degree” or a “certificate.”

Are any of you interested in programming? What app or website would make your dreams come true? Do you know FreeCodeCamp and would you recommend it for beginners like me?

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