Giorgio Delgado

Free Code Camp, Meet exercism.io

November 18, 2015

I love learning about technology. In particular, I am fascinated by the way the web works and want to continue learning more about it.

It all started with CS50x and that eventually led me to Free Code Camp to continue honing my skills. Free Code Camp has been great. I've met a bunch of awesome and enthusiastic people through the social coding network, but something is still lacking.

The thing is, if you don't have continuous code reviews to receive constructive criticism then you'll improve at a slower pace, and I can attest to that. Frankly, Free Code Camp does not have a good solution to this problem. There are pairing opportunities but this requires two parties to coordinate a time to meet. There has to be an asynchronous solution to code reviews. Users are currently able to look at peoples' exercise solutions, but there's no review system in place.

Some of us are fortunate to have meetups where we hangout and just code with others who can give us feedback on the spot.

Exhibit A, & Exhibit B

Unfortunately, not everyone lives in a vibrant tech-hub with coding meetups.

Enter exercism.io

I recently gave it a try and I've got to say that exercism.io has the potential for kicking your coding skills up a notch.

What's exercism.io?

Exercism provides you with a wide array of tough programming challenges that you then push to their website in order to have users review your answer. From there you can iterate on your solution and learn how to optimize your code.

One thing that really caught my attention is that unlike most coding challenge services, exercism.io is focused around Test Driven Development. More specifically (and for those of us who are coding in JavaScript), this means that we'll also get an introduction to Jasmine's Unit Testing Library.

Caveat - you should be familiar with the command line to use exercism.io ... If you aren't familiar, here's a crash course that will get you up to speed. Further, you need NodeJS to download exercisim.io's command line tool.

Getting Started

Here's the JavaScript getting started guide.

Once you've installed the CLI tool, now you're ready to download your first exercise.

I think all [serious] Campers would be wise to combine their FCC exercises with those of exercism.io

Perhaps down the road FCC will create its own version of this? If I find the time, this may be my first Open Source contribution.

Happy coding.