Hi @KevinMulhern I posted this review - let me know if it can be of use elsewhere.
I have utilised many different learning resources - MOOCS, Lynda.com, Treehouse, Launch School, Free Code Camp, Codecademy - to name just a few. They have each had their unique value, and have each had several deficiencies. One of the biggest problems I see in online courses is how quickly they rush through fundamental skills and principles without real-world practice, so that I find myself leaving courses feeling like I have learned little.
It seems like the creators of The Odin Project understood this problem, and decided to create a curriculum of curated content, where most of the work is actually done elsewhere, using quality resources to build the skills in each learning stage. It introduces the all-important aspects of mindsets in learning, and early on gets the learner geared-up in building their own development environment to understand from the outset some of the tools of the professional.
Having spent many thousands on classroom content that was poorly delivered, this curriculum is a breath of fresh air and a frustrating reminder of the poverty of institutions that have no interest in aligning their content with the real world. I actually feel like I am learning now. For example, I reached the first project, started following the instructions, then felt lost. I realised that I had thought I had the fundamentals down, but had skimmed quickly through earlier sections, and am now working back through them. It feels a little annoying to move through really simple concepts again, but knowing that this is necessary to bridge the gaps of knowledge makes it worthwhile.
Free Code Camp has far more of a following, but the problem I found there is that it is a simulated environment - you step through the code bit by bit in the browser, and then are thrown into the deep end, left to fill the large gap of knowledge. The Odin Project has you read a lot more, but ensures that all you need to complete each project (and projects are a huge part of the curriculum) are included as part of the assignments and content.
It’s not the most visually appealing site, some content is dated, and the choice of Ruby might turn away many - but I can’t honestly fault the implementation of a rock-solid curriculum for web development. And it’s open source, constantly under development by a core team and the people going through the curriculum.