As a very new developer I thought I was an expert. There were languages to which I had only scratched the surface, that I would list on my resume anyway because I didn’t know any better. I was a fool. A lot of new developers do this starting out. It took me a long time to realize that my learning will never end. And you know what? That’s awesome! These days I have more awareness about things I need to know. But there’s still so much I don’t know that I don’t know. You know?
I work at an agency that builds websites and apps using various languages and frameworks. We also have contracts with large companies that have their own tech stack requirements. This means I need to jump right into new technologies whether I have the skills or not. I love it, but there’s no time for training on the job.
Bootcamps & Online Learning
For years I’ve applied to Bootcamps and have been disappointed. I’m sure there are good one’s out there, but I can’t find them. I’m a part of a few coding groups on Facebook and generally speaking, not many folks are getting anything out of the camps either. I never feel like I get my money’s worth. I don’t like them and I don’t recommend them.
I’ve also purchased highly rated courses from Stack Skills and Udemy (when they’re on sale). I like those. A couple years ago I signed up for a Udacity Nanodegree. Udacity was fantastic. However, because life is so busy, I didn’t finish within the year and I got locked out of the remaining content. I knew that going in. My bad. What a waste of my money. I was a big fan of Treehouse as well. I still am, but I no longer pay for it. Even though I did learn some things from online training. I had no idea if what I knew was enough. I can get by at my job, but I don’t want to just “get by,” I want to excel.
In comes Pluralsight! (Not an affiliate link.) I started the trial and fell in love. I’m now paying $299 a year and it’s worth every penny.
Why I love it
- You have access to all the courses, and their library is massive!
- As tech changes, so do the courses. You won’t have to buy a new class like you would on Udemy.
- There are tests that gauge your strengths and weaknesses for any given language/skill.
- The tests are different every time so there’s none of that “memorize and ace” junk.
- You are provided with a list of videos to watch based on your knowledge gaps.
- They have more than just programming courses.
- You get a certificate of completion for every course you finish.
- The courses are amazing. The depth of the lessons goes further than any online course I’ve taken.
Did you notice the bullet in bold? That’s so important. Suddenly I have a better idea of what I don’t know. That means I can fix it!
Let’s look at Bootstrap shall we? I took this test early 2020. I did worse than I thought I would. Now I know!
Pluralsight ranks me against other members as well as ranks my skill as a whole. IE: Novice, Proficient and Expert.
In my skill assessment page for Bootstrap is a list of gaps. Along with that list, is two videos, per gap, to get me started. Every month I can retest to see how far I’ve grown.
Even in cases where I score an “Expert” I am always just as surprised. I must admit. It’s very nice knowing where my skills stand. I have a long way to go.