With the increasing use of computers, the number of resources increased a lot. When you start programming, it isn't straightforward to choose between free or paid content. I've been thinking, gathering arguments and creating examples to help you make your choice.
This question is widespread, and everyone has already wondered that.
I thought a long time about it and reviewed my habits to understand why someone can be more interested in paid content rather than a free one.
Most of the time paid content is qualified by:
All types of content are great. I use personally free and paid content at the same time.
I think we can define profiles that are likely to choose one type of content over another.
Be careful; these profiles are only examples of people who may be inclined to pay for paid content. It's up to you to do what you want. I wrote it to help people to decide what kind of content they are going to use.
If you don't know what kind of content to choose, I hope these examples help you to understand the possibilities.
To show you that this subject is complex and very personal, I will give you my example.
I'm Gaël Thomas. I have been coding for more than three years. It's my hobby, and I like to share my knowledge to help people to learn how to code. These reasons pushed me to create HereWeCode.
The goal of this period: Learn programming and critical concepts to be able to switch quickly from one language to another.
When I started to code three years ago, I was in a school with a project pedagogy. I learned by myself as a self-taught with online resources such as StackOverflow, YouTube, FreeCodeCamp, and other blogs.
This period was hard for me but exciting and maybe an essential part of my developer’s life. By learning with free content, I was forced to search a lot and understand where I can easily find answers to my questions. Nowadays, I'm able to explore everything efficiently on the internet.
It doesn't look like that, but a search on the internet is not easy for everyone. I can tell you because I'm teaching students on a french platform, and most of the time, the beginners don't know how to find the answer to an error.
For one year now, I'm using both types of content; it depends on my goals with technology.
I like to use paid courses on Udemy when I want to learn quickly and have a showcase of new technology. For example, my Instagram course allowed me to be able to understand a new social network, define a strategy, and deploy a professional account in a few weeks. I reached my goal with this course, share as soon as possible a new type of content.
When I want to learn technology deeply, I like to read books. Most of the time, it exists books with lots of details you can't find in any other content.
I still use free content daily to answer a question, find a code example, understand a specific concept in a few minutes, etc.
In my opinion, there is a last type of content called the paid but free content.
It's the name I give to a platform offering free content with a premium paid quality.
There are very few of them, and the most famous is FreeCodeCamp.
It's quite incredible to imagine that so many hours of training are free. You can even get certified!
I know people who have changed their lives thanks to FreeCodeCamp and all that for free.
I'm writing this last paragraph to thank the work done by the whole team and contributors to the platform.
If you want to do a kind act and help develop free content, you can support FreeCodeCamp.
"When you donate to freeCodeCamp, you help people learn new skills and provide for their families. You also help us create new resources for you to use to expand your technology skills." - FreeCodeCamp Donate Page
This topic is not easy to answer, and it's the first time I discuss something like this. I'm honest with you; I was scared when I hit the publish button. It's quite engaging, but I'm waiting for your opinions.
I think nowadays it exists so many ways to learn a new thing. This diversity is due to all requests from different types of learners.
It's like in school, some people learn by reading, others by drawing, reading aloud, answering quizzes, etc.
Choose the content that best suits your situation and goals.
What type of content do you use? Do you sometimes vary between paid and free content, and why?
➡️ If you want more content like this, you can follow me on Twitter, where I tweet about web development, self-improvement, and my journey as a fullstack developer!