Learning Modern Web Development with Full Stack Open

I was hunting for a course to pick up some web development skills to prepare for an upcoming project. There is an insane amount of learning resources for web development on the Internet. My requirements were:

  1. Free
  2. Up-to-date content
  3. Full Stack (front end + back end)
  4. Beginner-friendly

Full Stack Open by University of Helsinki

While searching, I chanced upon this post on /r/learnprogramming.

The comments seemed generally positive. Since the Full Stack Open course met all my requirements, I dived into the content right away.


This course serves as an introduction to modern web application development with JavaScript. The main focus is on building single page applications with ReactJS that use REST APIs built with Node.js.

from https://fullstackopen.com/en/about

The Full Stack Open course gets progressively harder as the sections go by. However, each concept is clear and easy to understand. Practice exercises follow every example, making sure that you have a very good understanding of the topic before progressing. The exercises have a certain level of difficulty to ensure you are not just regurgitating what you have read without internalizing.

My github commits for Full Stack Open exercises

Full Stack Open did a great job of bringing new students in, one step at a time. It starts from the front-end with ReactJS, before going into building REST APIs with Node.js.

Overall, it is an amazing course that teaches practical and modern web development skills that is relevant to the current state of full stack development. I am still amazed that the course is still being enhanced and adding new content, with Typescript being added in 2020.

Final Thoughts

As job scopes of developers and infrastructure ops folks get more intertwined, learning modern web development is a good way to dip your toes into understanding DevOps practices.

Coming from a computer networking background, Full Stack Open gave me enough knowledge to understand and appreciate many more Cloud-native services centered around Serverless. This course is a good prerequisite before diving into the AWS Certified Developer Associate certification.

A huge shout out to the University of Helsinki and Matti Luukkainen for this informative and useful course.

1 comment

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