Becoming a web developer is a dream that many individuals share these days. However, there are a few different kinds of web developers out there - not all development is the same! Today, in this Udacity Front-End Nanodegree review, we’ll be looking at a course aimed at intermediate-level front-end developers.
If you’ve read any other Udacity course reviews, you can probably already tell the general gist of what we’ll be talking about - granted that the program in question is a Nanodegree, it shares all of the main benefits that you’d find on other Nanodegrees offered on the site.
However, that does still not answer the question - is the Udacity front-end web developer course worth it for you? Does it provide all of the essential information that you might need in order to become a better web developer, or are you better off with an alternative course or even platform, in general?
Well - let’s answer all of these questions in the article ahead!
Table of Contents
- 1. The Life of a Front-End Web Developer
- 2. Udacity Front-End Nanodegree (ENROLL HERE)
- 2.1. Nanodegrees - A Standard of Quality
- 2.2. Qualified and Competent Instructors
- 2.3. Technical Support and Feedback
- 2.4. Flexible Study Hours
- 2.5. Career Services - Available!
- 3. The Negative Aspects of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree
- 3.1. Not for Beginner Developers
- 3.2. No Accredited Certificates
- 4. Price
- 5. Before and After the Course
- 6. Summary
- 7. Conclusions
The Life of a Front-End Web Developer
If you’re reading this Udacity Front-End Nanodegree review, you probably have a pretty good idea of why you’d want to become a front-end dev, right?
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Well, but have you thought about the profession, in general - what it entails, and what the list of benefits involves, in the first place?
Most people who want to become front-enders have this wish to do so simply because they love web design!
Indeed - front-end web development involves around of artsyness - you are going to be responsible for the visual side of the site, and work with programming languages that are centered around what the visitors of the site see (i.e. CSS, HTML, and so on).
Continuing down the list, naturally, front-end web developers tend to make great salaries, too. Truth be told, this is likely to be one of the most commonly-mentioned benefits of studying the course in question that you might encounter whilst reading other student Udacity front-end developer reviews.
The statement is, admittedly, true with all types of developers - be it front-, back-end, or full-stack ones. However, if you have an artistic side, and would love to create visually-stunning websites, do keep in mind that you can certainly do so, and also likely make a great living while at it, too!
It is, however, worth keeping in mind that becoming a skilled front-end website developer isn’t necessarily an easy task. While the career path is notably becoming increasingly more popular as time goes on, and there’s always going to be a demand for professional front-enders, you will have to put in a lot of effort to beat your competition!
Naturally, taking the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree might be the first great step at doing so. Whether or not that’s the case for you, we’ll figure it out as we go - however, do keep in mind that taking the time to study online is definitely going to help in the long run, either way!
- Platform: Udacity
- Duration: 4 months (5-10 hours / week)
- Price: €1236
- Certificate: YES
- Level: Intermediate
- Where to apply? HERE
A single Google search will reveal that there are seemingly countless numbers of web development-related courses out there for you to check out and study - there are even entire platforms dedicated to educating developers, too! With there being over 23 million website developers in 2018 in the US alone, this is truly not too big of a surprise.
With that said, though, why should you choose Udacity as the main source of information regarding the topic in question? What’s so special about the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree - so much so, that you would choose it over any other course or platform?
Well, the main thing would be exactly that - the fact that it’s a Nanodegree. This fact alone automatically places the course on a certain type of pedestal - in other words, the name acts as a type of guarantee of a certain level of quality of information, and a set of features and benefits that you can expect to receive while studying the program.
In fact, let’s address this fact, first, and then discuss the rest of the benefits offered by the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree.
Nanodegrees - A Standard of Quality
So, then - what is a Nanodegree?
Well, first and foremost, let’s establish something that it is NOT - a Nanodegree isn’t some sort of an actual education degree, such as one you would receive in a university.
Instead, Nanodegrees are special programs offered to the students of Udacity. The online learning platform in question does have “normal” courses, too, but Nanodegrees are considered to be the “next big step” for anyone who wants to study a set specific specialty - the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree is a great example.
The next natural question is pretty simple, too - how do these programs differ from your standalone courses?
The biggest differences between a simple, standalone course and a Nanodegree would relate to two major things - the quality of the course materials, and also the feature and benefits that you would receive whilst studying the specific programs.
Course quality is, admittedly, a rather subjective topic, but we’ll get it discussing that in just a bit. However, the “extra benefit” part is quite notable here.
While studying standalone courses, more often than not, you won’t really be receiving any additional benefit - you purchase the course, study it at your own leisure, and that’s it.
With a Nanodegree, however, the situation is quite a bit different. These programs have specific benefits that they grant the student - both when it comes to actually studying the topic, and also once you’re done with the course, and are thinking of what to do next.
Same as with the course quality aspect, we’ll be discussing all of the most-notable benefits in just a minute. The notable point here, however, is this - if you’re serious about your studies, and want to learn the topic in question in as efficient of a manner as possible, then the Udacity front-end web developer Nanodegree is the way to go, at least as far as Udacity is concerned.
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Qualified and Competent Instructors
Did you know that 94% of site visitor first impressions first impressions relate to the design factor of the website, in one way or another? This factor alone should show you the importance of proper website visual design - something that front-end developers are, in a way, concerned with.
With the career path in question becoming increasingly more popular as time goes on, as you would likely come to expect, the selection of online-based study-ready courses is also becoming broader, too - we’ve covered that much already.
Something that we haven’t covered, though, is the fact that the increase in popularity may also affect the fact of WHO the people teaching the courses are. Well, rather, you should probably be looking at the knowledge level of these individuals.
Indeed - some student Udacity Front-End Nanodegree reviews are surely going to tell you that there are some courses online that are taught by less-than-qualified individuals. These are surely not the courses that you’d want to consider!
Not something that you need to worry about when it comes to the Udacity front-end developer Nanodegree, though - the instructors of this program are completely competent in the field in question!
Don’t believe me? Well, take a look for yourself:
- Daniel Silber-Baker - programmer, poet, educational design expert. Possesses a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications.
- Rachel Manning - front-end web developer at Acquia, has spent three years developing the curriculum for a Silicon Beach bootcamp.
- Alyssa Hope - prior lead instructor at a coding bootcamp, a full-stack web developer with a degree in Interactive Communications.
- Richard Kalehoff - course developer with a degree in computer science.
The list of instructors for this specific Udacity Front-End Nanodegree is, admittedly, rather small - with some other Nanodegrees found on the platform, you could see two or three times as many instructors teaching the course. Quantity is not what matters here, however - quality is where it’s at!
And, in that regard, the Udacity front-end developer program has got you covered.
All of the instructors mentioned above are very competent in the field, and have credentials to prove this. The fact that you will be taught by true professionals of the skill is amazing - it acts as further proof of the quality of information that you will receive, and also as a guarantee of that quality, too. Definitely an awesome fact to consider!
Technical Support and Feedback
One of the most commonly-referenced shortcomings of online learning is the lack of feedback.
It’s true - if you are planning on studying a standalone course that you’ve purchased on one of the many online learning platforms out there (or even got for free, too), you should be aware of the fact that there’s a pretty good possibility of you not getting any post-purchase support with your studies.
Now, do keep in mind that I’m talking about individual, standalone courses here. Nanodegrees - the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree included - aim to change the norm in this regard.
While studying the program in question, you can expect to receive both technical mentor support, and also course-related feedback, too! Both of these features can be extremely helpful and valuable during your studies!
Technical support-wise, Udacity has over 1000 technical mentors that are ready to answer any and all of your questions regarding the, well - technical side of the course that you’re studying. Granted that we’re talking about a Udacity Front-End Nanodegree here, you can probably imagine that there’s a lot of technical practice involved.
To add to that, you can definitely expect to receive feedback on your tasks, too - just the same as you would if you were studying in a university, or some other traditional educational institution.
Both of these features make the program very interactive, and play a huge role in helping you understand and practice your front-end development skills in a much easier and smoother fashion. It’s definitely one of the more interesting and notable Nanodegree features that you should be keeping in mind!
Flexible Study Hours
In the earlier chapter, I’ve mentioned that a lack of support and feedback on your work are some of the most significant shortcomings of online-based courses. Well, as opposed to that, the flexibility that online learning provides you with can actually be considered as one of the biggest benefits when it comes to online courses!
While studying an online class, in the vast majority of cases, you are going to be able to take your time, and learn at your own pace. Oftentimes, you can skip back to a specific section of the course, or retake it, altogether.
Furthermore, this flexibility extends to the time of your studies, too. Quite frankly, you will be able to learn at the time that’s best for you, and won’t need to worry about missing out on other priorities that you might have in your life.
Ironically enough, this is also a point that is a tad bit complicated when it comes to Nanodegrees. Allow me to explain.
While studying the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree, you will, in fact, be able to create a timetable that would suit your wants and needs, and manage your learning process as you please. However, admittedly, your freedom in this regard isn’t necessarily going to be as broad as with, say, standalone courses.
This is because, when it comes to Nanodegrees, there is an expectation that you will finish the course in a set amount of time, and the fact that there’s a lot of live interaction happening during the learning process definitely does add to all of that, too.
While the time-related flexibility might not be as prominent as it would with any “normal” course out there, student Udacity front-end developer reviews do emphasize that, in most cases, you should have no problems with adapting to your studies, while also taking care of any and all other priorities that you might have in your life. That’s great!
Career Services - Available!
This is one of the most-notable features of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree - many of the student reviews found online do agree with this sentiment, too!
What are career services, you may wonder? Well, to put it shortly and simply, once you finish a Nanodegree on Udacity, you will have the chance to utilize some support and help with your preparation for future job interviews. This support comes in the form of Github and LinkedIn profile optimizations, and also help with resume writing, too.
I probably don’t even need to emphasize this, but still - it’s an extremely unique feature, and a very rare one, at that! You are not going to come across many online learning platforms that would offer their students post-course career support, especially in the way that Udacity does!
Finding a job and starting a brand new career path can be an intimidating and daunting task - that goes without saying. Naturally, any and all help is appreciated - especially when it comes to the platform that you’ve studied the subject on!
To put it short, no matter what it is that you are planning to do after you finish studying the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree, do keep in mind that, as far as career paths go, the platform does offer you some further help, even once you’re done learning - that’s amazing!
The Negative Aspects of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree
Now that we’ve discussed some of the most-notable benefits of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree, before moving onward with our review, we should also take a look at some student complaints that revolve around this course, too.
Admittedly, there aren’t going to be many of these to address - a single look online will show you that most of the student Udacity front-end developer reviews are rather positive, and the majority of people are happy with the course in question.
There are, however, a few quirks that you should certainly be aware of before deciding whether or not the program is right for you.
Not for Beginner Developers
If, up to this point in time, you’ve enjoyed everything that you’ve read about the Udacity front-end web developer program, and think that it’s certainly worth checking out, please keep in mind that it’s not going to be suitable for beginners. In fact, it’s considered to be an intermediate-level course.
Looking into it a bit further, it’s clear that anyone who wants to get the maximum amount of information from the course will need to have a pretty decent understanding of programming, be knowledgeable in regards to version controls with Git, and be keen on improving their coding language skills to a further extent.
In other words, let me put it this way - if you’re looking for a front-end developer course that would take you “from zero to a hero”, this program will not suit you.
Naturally, there are other resources available for you to start off your path of becoming a front-end developer - Udacity has Nanodegrees and courses that will help you out in this regard, and there are vast numbers of other learning materials that you can find online, too.
That said, it’s probably little-to-no condolence to anyone who was keen on jumping into the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree as quickly as possible! As unfortunate as it is, if you’re a complete beginner, you will have to start your front-ender journey elsewhere.
No Accredited Certificates
This is, undoubtedly, one of the biggest cons of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree, and frankly, the rest of Nanodegrees and courses available on the platform, too.
Accredited course certificates are those that are backed-up by an educational institution. More often than not, this institution would be a university.
What’s the benefit of an accredited certificate? Well, imagine if you were to take an online course for front-end web developers that’s accredited by, say, Arizona State University. Once you finish that course, and go to a job interview, your potential employers will recognize your skill level as that of someone who has graduated from the same course over at ASU.
Needless to say, this is very significant. It’s also the main reason why so many people are adamant about studying accredited courses, no matter the topic!
As you’ve probably gathered by now, though, the situation is a bit different with the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree. The program does not offer accredited certification after you complete it.
The reason for this is simple, too - Udacity isn’t an accredited online learning platform, and thus, none of its courses have accredited certificates. This is true with both standalone courses, and also Nanodegrees.
It’s a significant shortcoming, sure. However, there might be a bright side to it, as well.
You see, many of Udacity’s Nanodegrees are backed-up by various tech companies. The list includes names such as Google, Facebook, Hubspot, and more.
While this isn’t the same as being accredited with an educational institution, Nanodegree certificates do hold some tangible value due to the fact mentioned above. The actual value, however, is going to be determined by your potential employers, and the job position that you are applying for.
In short, if accredited certificates are really important to you, then the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree might not actually be the best option, as far as online-based learning is concerned.
However, if it’s more of a trivial detail than a requirement, then there’s nothing to worry about!
With all of the essential pros and cons of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree discussed and covered, let’s talk about the pricing aspect of the program, and evaluate if it’s worth the price tag or not.
So - once you decide to purchase the course, you will actually have two choices, pricing-wise. You could either pay the full sum of money upfront, or pay in increments, each month.
So, then… What about the pricing options of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree? Do they make sense, and is the program worth paying such money for?
Well, for starters, let me just say that it’s awesome that Udacity does have more than one pricing option. This makes the Nanodegree available for many more people, since while not everyone might be able to pay that sum of money all at once, paying in smaller amounts is much more budget-friendly.
When it comes to the price itself, it’s actually in-line with any other Nanodegree that you are going to find on the online learning platform in question. Depending on the timeframe that it takes to finish a course, all of the programs on Udacity are priced the same.
The price is, admittedly, pretty high, if you look at the Udacity front-end developer Nanodegree as a standalone course. You shouldn’t do that, though - truth be told, Nanodegrees offer so many different benefits, that most student Udacity Front-End Nanodegree reviews agree that the price is surely justified!
Before and After the Course
Yes, I know, the name of this chapter sounds a bit weird, but bear with me.
While we’ve discussed a lot about the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree, there are still a few things that we should mention - things that relate to your decisions before and after taking the course.
As established not too long ago, the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree isn’t beginner-friendly - you do need some prior experience before you can start studying the program. Thankfully, Udacity has a solution for you - on the course’s landing page, you will find a list of other programs that you should take in order to prepare yourself for studying how to become a front-end developer.
The very first of these programs is the Intro to Programming - it’s a Nanodegree that we’ve also covered and reviewed extensively, so make sure to check it out! In short, however, you can rest assured that there will surely be an option to get prepared for the front-end developer course on Udacity.
Now, what about the end of the course - what should you do after you finish your studies?
Well, you will have two big options - either continue learning on Udacity, or start looking for a job. Naturally, these aren’t mutually-exclusive!
If you decide to continue with your studies, you can find related programs by scrolling down to the very end of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree page. These programs are going to help you further your knowledge in the fields of programming and web development, and thus, help you become a better front-end dev, in general!
Career-wise, as mentioned earlier, Udacity does offer a helping hand, too - if you want to start looking for an entry-level position right after you finish studying the Udacity front-end developer program, you can use the platform’s career services to boost your chances of scoring the best job position for yourself!
Before I let you go, let’s have a quick refresher - in other words, let’s mention some of the main pros, cons, and features that we’ve discussed in this Udacity front-end developer review, so that you could see the whole entire picture clearly.
The Udacity Front-End Nanodegree is just that - a Nanodegree. This means that it’s an extended and high-quality learning program that will both help you with developing a deep understanding of the topic in question, while also providing quite a few different benefits and features during and after your studies, too.
The course is taught by professional instructors, all of which have backgrounds in the field of web development. Furthermore, you will be able to receive feedback for the tasks that you perform whilst studying the subjects, and also get technical help from mentors, if you need to.
There are also career support opportunities, too - specialists over at Udacity will help you with your Github, LinkedIn profiles, and also resume shaping, as well.
It’s worth mentioning that the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree isn’t going to be good for complete beginners in the field - if you’re just starting out with front-end web development, and have no prior programming experience, you should consider taking a prerequisite course, such as the Intro to Programming.
Furthermore, Udacity does not offer accredited certificates to its students. While Nanodegree certificates may hold some tangible value in a job interview simply due to the fact that they are often backed by certain specific companies, there’s still no university-based backing to be found, and thus, no accredited certification, too.
The price of the Udacity Front-End Nanodegree is, frankly, the same as with any other Nanodegree that would last you 4 months to complete. By extension of that, same as other programs, this course does have different payment options, too - you can either pay the full price upfront, or pay in increments, each month.
Now, then - what’s the conclusion here?
Well, it’s pretty simple, really - if you’re looking for a way to learn front-end web development, and do already have some knowledge when it comes to programming, this might perfectly well be the best course for you!
However, if you still lack programming-related knowledge, you could check out Intro to Programming - another Nanodegree that’s available on Udacity, and which the platform itself recommends as the best starting point.
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