Start with Online Courses
After spending 20-40 hours on Codecademy you will begin to exhaust their resources. Luckily, there are plenty of other sites to get you geared up for a coding bootcamp. Two other popular websites to learn to code are Code School and Team Treehouse. Both resources include courses on the different elements of the MEAN stack. Code School is more hands on than Team Treehouse but Team Treehouse has a larger library and offers more comprehensive resources on the basics of HTML, CSS and responsive design.
Focus on The Fundamentals
Five functions worth your time are:
Putting your newfound skills to use is what will truly solidify your training. Testing your coding prowess on sites like CoderByte and Codewars is an excellent way to do this. CoderByte is easier to start with because if you get stuck there are help forums with tips and solutions.
- Thinkster.io has a MEAN stack introductory tutorial that will walk you through setting up a Reddit clone. It’ll provide users with an opportunity to work with controllers and factories in AngularJS. The project includes guidance on setting up a Mongoose schema for building out a database in MongoDB. The tutorial also explains how to create an ExpressJS server using an Express Generator in NodeJS. Protip — if you get stuck search GitHub public repositories for solutions.
- Mastering MEAN is another excellent resource for project based learning. As the name suggests the site has been created to help people master all the individual elements of the MEAN stack. Skeptics can sign up for a free 30 day membership to check it out.
To gain the most value from sites like Thinkster and Mastering MEAN it's essential that you complete each project more than once. Each time try to put your own spin on the concepts. Add an extra database collection, create an additional form, customize an additional route. Building actual projects that you can add to your portfolio is by far the wisest use of your time.
- LearnJS is a free interactive tutorial where you can skip around to the sections and chapters you’d like to learn or review. It’s a great resource for filling in learning gaps or reviewing concepts that were difficult to grasp in other online projects.
This might seem like an overwhelming amount of learning material to get through, but not all of these resources will mesh with your individual learning style. Try multiple resources to find which one works best for you. Most importantly, distance yourself from rote learning methods like copying and pasting code, and challenge yourself with new concepts by building your own functions, web sites, applications, and projects.
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