I got my back-end (now API and Microservice) cert today from Free Code Camp! https://www.freecodecamp.org/certification/shadowimmage/apis-and-microservices Hooray!
It's been a year since I started working through the Free Code Camp curriculum, and it feels good to finally have finished the API work. I feel like I have a pretty solid grasp now on how to build and arrange an API, which I hope will help me in the future when I try to do more API work.
Over the time that I've spent on getting this certificate I've learned a lot of extra things on top of just how to build an API or microservice, which is also part of the reason that it took so long to get here. From the beginning of the projects on Free Code Camp, I decided that I wanted to wrap everything up together into a cohesive portfolio - something that I could showcase and present to the world that had everything packaged and ready to consume. It also added a whole layer of complexity on top of the challenges that required more research and more work, putting separate parts together into a single application and then designing and building the architecture of the portfolio where it'd be showcased. This actually led to two separate projects, the presentation site (this) where I could write up details in longer form and document my work over time, and the project site where all the projects and samples would live together in one application that could be expanded upon as I completed more challenges and coding solutions. I think this played to each platform's strengths as well, since Github Pages is great for static sites and is always online, and Heroku projects can be almost anything you want them to be and won't cost any money (at least for the free tier) - with the only downside being that the first visit to a sleeping ‘Dyno’ is delayed by a few seconds as the server instance spins up.
In the end what really slowed me down in getting this certificate wasn't the actual challenges - each one really only took a few hours of work. It was the external factors, life factors, that made the difference and introduced the largest delays and distance from the work. Things like buying a house, renovating and moving into said house, the relentless autumn + winter holiday madness, and changes in demands at work and at home. Suddenly a year passes, your kid is older, you're older, and you've neglected your repos for so long that you don't remember why you made this branch or what wasn't working or done last time you committed your code.
Not having time to dedicate to the work has made it harder to progress than I thought when I first started out. And I'm hoping that now that I have momentum and am starting to tell people about the things that I'm putting out there (rather than just working in obscurity) that I can maintain that energy and continue to get things done, become more confident, and make some cooler and bigger things.