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Course Review

Full Stack Open

Full Stack Open

Here is our in-depth review of Full Stack Open, based on hours of rigorous testing and evaluation.

Updated: December 13, 2023

Bottom Line

An impressive free, text-based curriculum developed in partnership with tech companies, that offers feedback on coding exercises.

This Course is Great For

  • Novice Coders
  • Traditional Academic Style
  • Hands-on Practice

Fast Facts

Full Stack Open

Full Stack Open

Full Stack Open

By Various Authors

💰 Free 🕗 3-5 months at 10 hours per week
👩‍💻 readings, hands-on exercises, projects

#3 in The Best Programs and Courses for Learning Frontend Development in 2024

The curriculum guides you through the fundamentals of full stack web applications, starting with basic client interaction and increasing in complexity. There are in-depth readings, supplemental materials, and hands-on exercises.

Before You Buy

Overall, one of the drawbacks to the course is its lack of real-world projects. You'll want to supplement the curriculum by building a frontend application on your own, to synthesize what you've learned and apply it in a new scenario, and to build a portfolio.

If you like learning through videos, you probably want a different solution. The text-first format is excellent, but not for every learner.

The community has a high noise to signal ratio, so it's not very valuable apart from getting your questions answered.

Go to Course

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Why You Should Trust Us

Our course reviews are conducted by a team of technical professionals, course developers, and lifelong learners.

The lead of this project, Brian Green, has worked in developer education since 2009. He built the content development teams at Pluralsight and Udacity, implementing quality standards and tutorials to improve course quality and working with hundreds of authors to create courseware. Most recently, he built the product team at App Academy. As of writing, he estimates he has spent nearly a year of his life taking or reviewing online courses, on topics ranging from Web Development, Networking, Server Administration, DevOps, Cybersecurity, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence.

How We Tested

Evaluation Criteria

We reviewed this course using the following criteria:

  1. Outcomes: The course needs to cover the essentials for someone to start working with Frontend Developer in a professional capacity or on a professional-grade project. That means covering the right topics and not going beyond the scope of the course objectives.
  2. Learning Features: Real skill development happens with fingers on keys, particularly for learners moving from novice level. We looked for courses with more than just videos; exercises and projects were essential.
  3. Production Quality: The course should include polished and professional course materials. In 2024, the table stakes of even an average course are professional video production, uniform sound levels and noise-free audio, and course materials that are free of typos. Videos should also be captioned and transcribed.
  4. Real World Application: A great course teaches you enough to work on a production application. We looked for examples and best practices from professional experience, not just basic examples of how something works on a toy application.
  5. Support and Community: Learning is better together! We promote courses with thriving communities and rapid, helpful support for learners, and tend to rate courses lower if they lack community or if the community isn't valuable.

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