(+) Best Online Courses #9

Git a Web Developer Job on Udemy by Brad Schiff

First, a disclaimer that I originally completed this course back in 2017. However, on the current course information available on Udemy, instructor Brad Schiff now has a note that “This course was completely redesigned in November of 2019 to match the demands and trends of the industry”. So my review of this course will be out-of-date and might not even be applicable anymore as of June 2020, but I still wanted to highlight it as one of the top courses that I’ve done anywhere online, let alone on Udemy. I’ll likely be doing this course again now to see the updated content, but what follows is my review of the course as it was before the 2019 update.

Git a Web Developer Job is a fantastic and essential course that cements how to implement proper workflow procedures including how to set up folder structure for a project, as well as the right way to use Gulp.js to build out the gulpfile.js file and relevant sub-tasks, building out the structure for an HTML file top-down from header to footer, and writing both HTML and CSS methodically by using BEM, a CSS methodology (other CSS methodologies include SMACSS and OOCSS). Overall it was an incredibly thorough course that really went into a lot of detail on Node.js and how to use a diverse set of packages via NPM (Node Package Manager) by applying everything towards building a sample responsive static website from scratch. It’s also worth noting about the course that it didn’t use Bootstrap to implement the mobile version of the main project, which really helped to demonstrate (and further drive the point) that Bootstrap isn’t always needed, and that it’s surprisingly easy to create a mobile site using just CSS media queries.

The one thing I appreciated most about the course is that the instructor, Brad Schiff, took his time to not only show you how to do everything through screencasting (and not just coding but using the command line, as well as file management and working with the Web browser) but also explained everything clearly and showed every step as he went along. It was very obvious as well that he pre-planned just about every aspect of the course in advance, as the videos flowed from one to the next in a way that made a lot of sense, and he consistently took the time to prepare you with the conceptual stuff before diving into the hands-on practical segments. And although some may find Brad Schiff’s rate of speaking to be just a bit slow, as I certainly did as a native-born American, his speech was certainly extremely clear and easy to understand, and the videos actually scaled nicely with Udemy’s speed settings as well (native English speakers will probably want to use 1.25x, as I did).

The only cons to the course are really just nitpicks, and don’t detract at all from the top quality of the material. First is that the course is now outdated a bit, as it was initially recorded using the first version of webpack, leaving it to the customer to figure out solutions to any issues that might arise from a newer version of webpack. Second is that the course is a bit on the long side at 15 total hours of video, and it can often feel like it’s a slog to get through the videos, a lot of which approach 20-minute runtimes.

Conclusion: A surprisingly detailed course on workflow and best practices for front-end web development, and so good and in-depth on the subject that I can’t recommend it enough for the aspiring web developer who already has a solid grounding in HTML5, CSS3, and plain JavaScript, but just hasn’t worked with the Node.js platform yet (or much) and doesn’t yet have experience with techniques & methodologies that might be used in a professional environment, like BEM and ES6 transpiling, for instance.

I further highly recommend doing this course as a follow-up to Colt Steele’s The Web Developer Bootcamp. If Colt Steele’s course is the first one that you do on Udemy, Brad Schiff’s should be the second. The two courses complement each other so well that together they provide a solid grounding in just about most of what you need to know to begin to get job-ready as a front-end web developer.

Rating: 5 out of 5