Udacity’s Front End Developer Nanodegree Review: Is it Worth Your Time and Money?

Udacity is one of the leading online learning providers that is known for partnering with major organizations like Google to create well-rounded online courses for those interested in the evergreen world of information technology. With knowledgeable tutors and a curriculum that is designed with lots of real-life practice projects, the platform has caught the attention of many professionals who are interested in a career in tech. Still, there are hundreds of online platforms out there that claim to be the best at what they offer, all of which are committed to providing users with the convenience of learning online from the comfort of their homes or workplaces.

As far as Udacity Nanodegree courses go, how do they stand up from the crowd and are they worth your time and money? That is what we want to find out from this Front-End Developer Nanodegree program. In this review, we will look into the course specifics as well as what previous learners have to say about this online course. The review will conclude with a look at the front-end web developer job market, attempting to reveal if this Nanodegree course comes with the opportunity to land job in the IT world.

What is Udacity?

Udacity is a popular online learning platform with an established reputation in the field of technology. They let anyone interested in the field acquire industry-tailored skills from the convenience of their homes or workplace. Today, Udacity have a large number of successful graduates, some of whom are employed by high-ranking multinationals. All Udacity’s online courses are developed in collaboration with technological giants and taught by industry experts. Read Udacity review here.

About Udacity Nanodegree Courses

When you sign up for an online course with Udacity, like the Cloud Developer Nanodegree program, you will not only get an in-depth curriculum but also attractive extras. These Udacity’s signature extras have brought the platform a lot of attention. Here are some of these extras:

  • Community support – you will get to interact with learners like you
  • Mentorship – Tech challenges will be no more with a mentor that is ready to give you a hand
  • Career help – your resume will be polished, LinkedIn profile reviewed, and taken through a mock interview in readiness for the job market
  • Projects – you will access real-world inspired projects to reinforce the skills you have learned.
  • Freedom – you will get to design your own learning schedule and learn at your convenience.

What is this course like?

Well, like we have already mentioned, this is an online course, meaning that it comes with a lot of flexibility. Udacity claims that it will take a learner four months to complete this course when dedicating 5-10 hours of study per week. However, it is important to note that this is an estimate as you are free to set your own learning schedule and learn at your pace.

Course prerequisites

While this Nanodegree course is designed for anyone seeking to learn more and become a front-end developer, it is still important that you have some background knowledge. The course recommends that you have the following skills before getting started:

  1. HTML – It is important that you know how to make a simple webpage and have a bit of fluency in this programming language
  2. CSS– You need to know how to add styles to a webpage using this language
  • JavaScript – You need to have a good grasp of this language too, enough to write up and test software
  1. Developer Tools – You need to be familiar with the tools used for inspecting websites from browsers like Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.
  2. Debug – You need to have an idea about debugging and how to use JavaScript to achieve this
  3. Git – You need to familiar with Git and to apply it for version control. If you are yet to learn about this, consider checking out a Git course before starting out with this one.
  • English – Finally, since this course is created in English, it is important that you have a learning proficiency of the language.

If meet all these prerequisites, you are considered a well-prepared learner and are more than capable of taking this online Nanodegree course.

Course Breakdown

This online course has been broken down into several modules with each giving the knowledge to move on to the next step. Four different milestones are further broken down within the course with tests and practice quizzes to test your knowledge before moving on. Here is how the course is broken down:

CSS Website and Layout

In this module, you will start by getting a hands-on experience with building a website. You will use HTML to create the outline and then style it with CSS. There is also a comprehensive look into CSS and its application when creating Grid and Flexboxx. You will learn how to use these to create the layout of the website using rows and columns. This module ends with a project where you will create a blog style website.

JavaScript and the DOM

Using the skills you have mastered in the first module above, you will then move on to bigger and better stuff. You will start off using JavaScript before progressing into understanding the Document Object Model (DOM). This will take you deeper into website management, including choosing creative content and enhancing the site’s performance. This module also ends with a project, where you will create landing pages to enhance the sites’ marketing content.

Web APIs and Asynchronous Applications

In this module you will be introduced to how experts do it. You will get to use Node and Express environments to develop sites within them. You will also practice with HTTP requests and routes which will help you modify elements. You will perform all these with asynchronous data which will be an asset to you not so long from now. The final project for this module will have you create a weather journal.

Build Tools, Webpack, and Service Worker

In this module, you will put together what you have learned to understand how to build tools. You will create variables and Webpacks in order to understand and apply the use of Sass controlled stylesheets. You will end this module by getting into a bit of cache, using it to enhance the functionality of a website.

At the end of the four modules, you will be required to complete a Capstone project, one of Udacity’s signature project that gives learners a chance to earn important hands-on experience. You will combine everything you have learned to put together a free travel app. You will have the freedom to make the design however you want, using this opportunity to dig deeper and sharpen your skills. You will receive a grade based on your originality as well as how much skill you have put into the project.

Course Instructors

One of the things that make Udacity stand out is their instructors. They are some of the finest in the field, which ensures that you receive your training from the industry’s best brains. Here are the instructors you will have for this online course:

Daniel Silber-Baker

Daniel holds a Master’s degree from NYU and is a programmer and design expert. He started his career helping non-profits before moving to corporate positions where he gained unique and well-rounded outlook in the programming field.

Rachel Manning

Rachel is a front-end developer who has sharpened her skills thanks to her role as a curriculum developer in a bootcamp in Silicon Valley. She is extremely passionate about mentoring young girls and women who are keen to start a career in the tech field. She dedicates her free time to non-profits that support the cause.

Alyssa Hope

Alyssa is a full stack developer and a former lead instructor of coding bootcamp. She has a lot of knowledge to pass on to new learners.

Richard Kalehoff

Straight out of college, Richard dove right into working with non-profits where he built sites from front end to back end. This is perhaps what motivated him to become a developer, something he loves passing on to his students.

Course Cost

As already mentioned, the cost of this, like other Udacity courses, is affected by the time you take to complete it. The platform charges for the course by monthly access, which is why you are free to take as long as you would like, as long as you are willing to pay for it. To make their Nanodegrees available for a wide range of learners, they have set up a few payment options.

Pay Per Month

This is set at $399 per month. This payment option can add up if you take longer to complete the course. This is why it is important that you decide how much you are ready to set aside for the course before committing.

The Udacity Deal

The reason the course duration is set at 4 months is the bundle pricing. The Udacity deal is set at $1200, which you must pay upfront when signing up for the course.

Both payment plans come with their share of merits and demerits. If you are looking to get started with the course now, you can take advantage of the free month deal that is currently running. This means you will get the four-month access for the price of three.

Previous Learner’s experience with the course

Udacity enjoys a positive online presence. Though they have previously received questionable reviews, most learners had only positive things to say about this online cloud developer course. You can visit Quora or Reddit for specific reviews, or even find more feedback on the website. Overall, this course has a rating of 4.6/5. Here is what learners had to say about this course:

The program itself is challenging, and i really like project oriented approach. First, i like the teaching style. Basics –> your own research –> project –> review if necessary. Unlike many other courses, based only on videos, this program makes you read the documentation and search for answers yourself. I consider these 2 aspects to be very important for a programmer. Being able to ask good questions is of extreme importance in any field of Development. This program teaches you to ask GOOD questions, to meet the required project specifications. I want to mention the Udacity’s GUI, it looks and feels amazing. Overall, the program and TA’s give us great value and experience. Worth it.”  Aleksei M.

The program provides me with a lot of knowledge about HTML, CSS and Javascript. Lessons are designed from elementary to advanced levels that help easily acquire. Also, mentor support is great. They solve learner’s problems as fast as possible. The more I learn, the more I am attracted and the more I pursuit upcoming courses to give a boost to my career life. This is the first step I have experienced learning Udacity courses. I strongly believe Udacity is the best education site. Loc D.

The program was very nice. I am a Computer Science graduate and working for 15+ years as a Software Developer, still the Nanodegree helped me grasp the starting point into Front End Development. The project are great, they pushed me into searching a lot of topics on the internet, Stackoverflow, etc – and I am planning to continue polish them in the next one month. I enjoyed the program and I am planning to take some more Nanodegrees – Full Stack and / or Data Science topics.Theodor R.

Front End web developer job market

Front-End Development is one of the hottest careers in the market right now. There has been a sharp rise in the number of job openings in the last couple of years. And the demand for front-end web developers is expected to grow at 27 percent per annum by 2024. That said, the average salary of a front-end web developer is $100,000.

Final thoughts

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that a career as a Front-End web developer requires continuous learning. With advances in technology, so do the methods used in development requiring you to constantly keep up with pace. If this sounds like something you really want to do, then this is certainly the right career for you.

Udacity’s online Front-End Developer Nanodegree program is designed to provide learners with in-depth skills they need to start a fruitful career as soon as they are through with the Capstone project. With a rich curriculum, great tutors, career help services, and a long list of employers looking for creative front-end developers, what more could you ask for? If you are looking for a career change or are just starting one on web development, Udacity has a great deal for you. For a limited period, you will enjoy 50% discount off select Udacity courses, including this one, when you sign up right now!

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