A linear path for serious beginners who want to become amazing developers
March 30, 2019
Janelle de Ment, Open Source Developer, Mozilla Firefox
Entering the premium content was like suddenly being a part of a family; a family that cares about your success. Every day, you can join an accountability meeting to stay on track with your progress. Before I attended these meetings, I didn’t really believe that anyone in the world would care about my progress in programming...not even a teacher at a university or bootcamp. How could they? They only see you once/twice a week for approximately 3-4 months. Gordon, on the other hand, attends these meetings every day asking what you’ve done to further your understanding. He says he doesn’t hold your hand through the premium content. While this statement is absolutely true, you do put in the work on your own, it’s also a bit misleading. If you participate in the community that premium content provides, it’s like having Gordon walk along beside you... the whole way.
Now, I actively contribute to open source projects and am starting to consider interviewing for jobs as a developer. When I first started learning programming, I never thought I’d get this far as a self-taught person, without the help of a university or bootcamp. As it turns out for me, it took a village, the Watch and Code village. This course is more than just a curriculum, it’s a support system that encourages you to keep at it, keep learning, keep coding and to not give up.
August 8, 2018
Rick Hallett, Software Developer, School Business Services
I joined Watch and Code in October 2017. It was, unreservedly, the best decision I made in my journey towards professional development work. I have tried many online resources; this was the only one that resulted in an increase in my baseline skill levels that can persist over time, and so Gordon helped me forge the literal foundation on which to build an entire career and way of life. I posted a video review on youtube to try and say thank you.
July 24, 2018
Anthony Xie, Open Source Developer, Mozilla Firefox
Over time, I've come to recognize and trust in the care and thoughtfulness Gordon has put into Watch and Code. As a beginner, it's hard to distinguish between what learning resources are good or bad. There are numerous courses of varying quality online and even more people suggesting different paths like learning "X" framework and reading "Y" book. However, with Watch and Code everything you learn is cumulative. Each next thing we work on in the course can only be done after mastering the previous topic. In this learning environment, the students have a well-defined linear path of what to learn and when to learn it. This is one of the core strengths of this course that is uncommonly found elsewhere, but crucial to improving.
To address the question of what you get from this course, I'd say that students gain an independence and freedom that can only be achieved when reaching a certain level of technical expertise. Students who complete this course don't know the ins and outs of the most recent popular frameworks. Instead, what they gain is the ability to independently read and understand those frameworks on their own. The invaluable skill of learning how to independently process and understand complex subjects is insanely useful.
This course will require you to dedicate time and effort, but the return on investment is huge. I highly, highly recommend this course.
May 2, 2018
If you’re an absolute beginner in programming, this is the perfect course for you, and I really mean it. I’ve read lots of books and tutorials in my career for several different languages and none made me loved to learn how to program as in this course.
Gordon has a really good faculty to teach and break things down into small digestible steps. The community in the Slack channel will help you move forward and never get stuck, that’s a huge asset for a beginner to not lose your motivation and avoid frustration.
You may want to know how long does it take to actually complete the course? I can’t answer that question because it depends on your available time per day, your skills, your abilities etc. but what I can tell you is that this course is underpriced.
In fact you don’t purchase a course for this price, you purchase a good learning environment and that has unlimited value. This can make the difference between a frustrated alone student stuck on a problem for hours, that will finally lose his motivation and quit, and a student that will get support from his peers and fix quickly his problems.
If you want to know more, I wrote a full and honest review about each chapter of the premium course on my blog: https://jeremymouzin.com/blog/watchandcode-review/.
January 9, 2018
Brian Baso, Program Manager Intern, Microsoft
Before I joined Watch and Code, I spent almost two years trying countless resources to learn to code. These past resources made it seem like I was learning but when I was on my own I realized that none of the information stuck. I think most people give up at this point, however, I continued and kept failing miserably with subpar coding classes online.
When I began Watch and Code, I adapted to Gordon's teaching style almost instantly. I finally figured out that learning to code isn't about learning specific technologies ("Build a React app in 15 minutes" or "Build a full stack MERN app" were some previous videos I'd watch) but instead, learning to code is more about learning to READ source code, test code with the debugger, and learning to comprehend the lengthy documentation. This may sound intimidating at first, but it is absolutely necessary if you want to become someone skilled enough at programming to create the idea that's been in the back of your head for a year, or what most people aspire for— landing that job.
June 13, 2017
Rhett Del Fierro, Software Engineer, NetFortris
January 24, 2017
Adam Kearney, Software Engineer, Amazon Alexa
Watch and Code is hands down the best coding course I have ever taken. This is completely a hidden gem.
Before taking this course, I considered myself a beginner. Due to using the wrong resources, I only knew what they had me memorize. My process was slow and painful.
This course takes a very different approach. It's about enabling you to learn on your own and solve problems you have never seen before.
First, you will essentially learn how to read someone else's code (via open source projects). Your goal of reading is to understand how the code works. Gordon, your instructor, will show you the process you should follow.
Once you understand, writing code is so much easier. You'll have the skills to actually problem solve because you know how to figure out what's going right or wrong.
It is insane no other courses teach you how to read real code so that you can then learn. Imagine learning anything if you didn't know how to read? In addition, it is insane no one teaches you using real code bases. Why work on stuff that is fake and theoretical when you can work on something that is real and grounded? Gordon nailed this approach.
With Watch and Code, you will move from being dependent to independent pretty quickly. It's a huge milestone for any learner. It's where you take off because nothing can hold you back.
Take this course. Take this course. Take this course.
Contact me at https://twitter.com/K3ARN3Y if you have any questions.
January 2, 2017
Aaron Chiandet, Product Manager, SpyFu
I've been working in this industry for close to 16 years now as a designer. I have strong knowledge of html/css but I never took the time to truly understand the fundamentals of programming. In 2013 (yes, three years ago) I decided to change that and started plowing through all the well known JS MOOCs available online. All of which left me feeling confused and moderately hopeless. I was never able to make the leap from beginner to intermediate or even "expert beginner." I could tell you what an immutable object was, but I had no idea what you would do with it or why I should care about it. This left me questioning if I was "built" to be a programmer, clearly it was my problem, not the companies that teach JS, right?
Then I completed Practical JS and everything started to change. Watch and Code is one of the most unorthodox curriculums that I've participated in, you will focus on skills that no one, including the most popular MOOCs, will cover. You learn how to use the dev tools to debug your code and help remove confusion as you write code. You learn how to read documentation along with other peoples code which is such a core skill to being a developer. Docs once made my head hurt, literally. Now I greet them with open arms and optimism.
If you want to be a software engineer in three weeks, this isn't the course for you. However, if your goals are even remotely like mine, and you're willing to put in the time to learning properly, then this is absolutely the right place to start. I've had more growth in the last three months than the last three years running down rabbit holes.
The real struggle today, is to maintain focus because I want to build 10 different things I have in my head. I should also note, I'm not even that deep into the premium content and I feel this way.
December 16, 2016
Jon Rojas, Product Manager, Perfect Sense
The Premium Membership is a no-brainer. Going through the premium content can be summed up as "forced reinforcement". The program is full of opportunities to strengthen the connections you make while learning. I love it. You will too!
October 3, 2016
Kenny Lee, Co-founder, Weblife (acquired by Proofpoint)
One of my 2016 goals was to learn JS deeply. Not just copy/paste code, tutorials, and barely make a functioning website, but to really know/understand JS as if it was my native language.
I consider myself somewhere in between a beginner and intermediate JS programmer. I graduated from Udacity (took 7 months), then proceeded to take/purchase more intermediate books and online courses. I spent too much time and resources that it's embarrassing. Before W&C, I 'sorta' knew ES5/ES6/jQuery/ReactJS. Also, along the way, I got side tracked with Grunt/Gulp/Webpack/Browserify/Bower.
This is a mistake that I've been making for the past year.
Here are my takeaways so far...
Let's learn how to read open source code! Line by line..yes really...LINE BY LINE. I scoffed at first b/c it was jQuery, but that's not the point. It teaches you how to really READ, INVESTIGATE, DEBUG, UNDERSTAND code that you didn't write. This is a must have skill!
Let's write code starting with tests. TDD! Ugh, I need to spend time learning a complicated test tool? NO! Gordon open sourced the easiest testing tool I've come across. You just focus on coding and testing...not learning a tool.
Let's learn forEach/map/filter/reduce functions. Yeah...I thought I knew them too. Gordon takes you through how to re-create these functions! If someone asked me if I knew what they were, I would've said 'think so...sorta'. Now, I'd say 'hell yeah! let me show you how they work under the hood!'. Oh, as I mentioned before...you learn all this by writing tests first...amazing.
Do you know how to read MDN? No? Me neither...until now! I felt that it was almost always too much info and too intimidating for me. I mostly used w3schools and StackOverflow since I didn't have the patience to read through MDN. Gordon takes you through an example on how to read MDN, and create test requirements from them as you are re-creating the reduce function.
When I started to write this review, I wasn't going to gush, but just ended up being this way. I'm very realistic about learning formats and expectations.
Could I have gotten this type of JS foundation elsewhere? Maybe...but it would take you much more time and money. It's extremely difficult to keep focused in such a crowded JS/code tools/framework/shiny toy.
Just sign up, and follow the W&C path. You'll learn JS deeply.
August 27, 2016
Anthony Ko, Co-founder, Graft Concepts (YCombinator W17)
In the first series of premium videos, Gordon investigates an app that's written with jQuery. You'll start by reading code, then break down each function to see how it works. There's lots of instruction on how to use the debugger, and you'll get exposure things like templating with Handlebars.js, and routing with Director.
There's an active Slack channel for premium members. The instructor is active in answering questions, which means you won't get a bunch of beginners giving each other bad advice. You'll have someone with experience to teach you how to learn, and a place to turn to if you end up getting stuck somewhere. Through taking the course, some students have already contributed to open source projects.
July 26, 2016
James Squillante, Developer, BBVA Compass
The membership has been such a great and motivating experience interacting with a dedicated instructor and community on a daily basis. The main thing that sets this offering apart from others is that Gordon pushes us to think on our own and truly understand code; releasing us from the dependency of tutorials.
We'll take real web apps and break down the source code to understand every detail of how it's supposed to work. This not only shows us real world examples and how to incorporate different libraries and techniques to get the job done, but also exposes us to reading quality code which enables us to create more insightful and intricate work of our own.
June 4, 2016
Brandon Plemon, Software Engineer, Nikola Motor Company
This is not just another “course”. Gordon does not have you just copying his code and at the end saying ….. tada ….. you have a web app. He actually goes into the how/why of the code. It dawned on me the other night as I was looking back on all my other courses, the instructors probably had my best interests in mind but all they did was teach the basics, walk you through building an app, and call it a day. There are discussion forums and they help a little but there's definitely something missing from this learning style (as I’m sure you're all aware of since you found this course).
I came to the conclusion that there's a disconnect from someone who's really good at something and their teaching ability. Many just assume you know certain things because, well, they knew it (even if the course says it's for complete beginners). They dumb some things down but they definitely assume a certain level (usually a pretty proficient level) for other things and it usually makes the course difficult or useless as you then have to find a different course to figure out the stuff the first course was talking about.
Gordon could have easily just said hey we are gonna build this app and coded it with us through the process and called it day but he doesn’t. It honestly feels like he wants us to understand what is going on. I think it’s safe to say there are two types of instructors out there. There are instructors who are teaching you to code a certain app and there are instructors who are teaching you to program. Gordon is definitely the latter. If you have spent any money on Udemy, Treehouse, CodeMentor or any of the other myriad of available courses out there, you'll be blown away with what you get from Gordon and you would be hard pressed to find a better course.