Tremendous free curriculum for learning the foundations of fullstack software development, from one of the top-rated coding bootcamps. Not as seamless an experience as our other recommendations, and lacks assessments and feedback on your work, but it's an excellent option.
By Various Authors
This course consists of readings, quizzes, exercises, some guided projects, and 4 capstone projects covering the major technologies.
Each lesson in the course includes a hands-on practice project to synthesize the material. These are fairly meaty exercises that frequently require that you do some outside research when you get stuck.
Along the way, the curriculum also covers web security, test-driven development, clean code, and other best practices that will help you prepare for professional web development.
App Academy also provides a Discord community specifically for its Open curriculum, where you can gather with other users. It’s a fairly active community, and there are occasional live streams and accountability checks. Most users in the community seem to be early in the program, but a dedicated few are progressing steadily through the material. And occasionally there are people self-organizing study groups, which we highly recommend participating in if you can.
The design of the learning management system can be frustrating. Often there's just too much navigation information on screen, various elements in the interface are sticky when they don't need to be, and the in-browser coding environment sometimes gets squished so it's difficult to work with. The curriculum is great, however.
Be aware the curriculum was written for live instruction, daily pair programming, and weekly assessments. The curriculum does not include the assessments or feedback on the capstone projects.
While you can take specific courses, it’s important to note that this curriculum was written with the full time program in mind. Each section assumes that you’ve completed the previous section. There are occasionally references to previous sections. So if you jump right into one of the later courses (e.g. Python) you may find the adjustment difficult.
The best self-paced full stack program money can buy. It's expensive, but well worth the cost for the quality of instruction and the quality of feedback on your work. The emphasis on practice exercises and real-world hands-on projects are standout features.
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.
We reviewed this course using the following criteria: