"Learn to program by creating working applications" that's the first thing you see when opening up the website. And I would like to share my experience so far. (been pretty awesome in a nutshell)
a phrase I have come across countless of times in any technology I ever began to explore. The issue with learning a specific language or framework is I never quite understood where to stop and make a proof of work, a project to showcase what I learnt and given how vast a programming language can be and also not ending up seeing that new construct in use for my project that I just learnt.
JetBrains Academy or Jetty does a very good job in addressing these issues I face and tops it up with a personal bias I have to learn something. Instead of video based tutorials, it has tons of learning material in a textual form. :D
What you have is a choice of 4 tracks each with its own set of projects. I have only explored the Java track up to now and would keep my admiration and criticism centred there. One thing to point out is that these tracks are not strictly separable. More on this later. Each project has its own level of difficulty and selecting any in your destiny spawns this page.
Well, this is what's great about the platform. The project is divided in x number of stages and each stage has its own share of concepts. Each stage builds upon the previous stage and by the time you reach the last stage, you end up with a complete project to showcase. Like I said earlier, the topics in a track are intertwined, you might see some Web concepts in your Java track if your making something with Spring Boot. Or they will introduce some SQL in your stage if project ships with a database.
My main point being is that you get a hands on development experience. You end up learning many things with Java but not restricted to the language itself if you chose that track. Some backstory about me. Before encountering Jetty, my interaction with Java was two years prior, Java as a college subject. I ended up reading Head First Java, one of my most favourite books because of its humour and lucid explanations but it ever taught me concepts in Java. I started with the Java track with the aim to code and revise my Java concepts.What it delivered was definitely many good things at once.
Each concept has its own theory and set of questions (both quizzes and coding exercises as shown below).
It has this cool UI as you can see, which is self explanatory, but I would like to mention it. At the side you generally have three labels. The eye catching two are 'topic is required for' and 'topic depends on' which connects each concept to others while making it easy to work through a single byte-sized topic. You will also notice a feedback and comments section.
The feedback is a couple of cute emojis and the comment section is full of additional knowledge most of the times. That ends up being really helpful especially when the topic felt too vague or maybe you want to know.... "Hey what if x ?" The small comment community below each topic is definitely helpful and fun to read and always adds quite a bit to the amazing learning experience. The guys down there are definitely helpful and you always end up with more hyperlinks in case you desired more depth in the topic.
But like every code we've written where we have some scope of improvement, the same goes for Jetty. The platform still has to put in more work on it's Algorithms section. Though it has a well written theory section, we still want some coding questions that are lacking. That's the only thing I guess. I did have a complaint earlier that the projects in the Java track were ideal for beginners but basic and rather not ideal on my resume. But seeing the newer ones come out, especially those in Challenging and some in Hard are definitely worth putting on your resume after some creativity of your own as suggested on Reddit. (still yet to implement my own creativity :c )
What's great about the platform is also that the Reddit community is very active and even the moderators are very active both on the website and the Reddit space. The platform keeps updating itself with new topics, projects and revisions in the previous material. (As I am writing this article, I think it would be great to highlight concepts with major revisions yellow instead of green so I could have a look at them again.)
For me personally, since I have started using it, I have nothing but praise for the platform and its community, the little ways in which it has helped my developer life.I was happy to be part of the Early Access Program and hope to continue on the platform and complete its Java track and would recommend you to start your free trial too especially if your a college student looking to build a project easily (...easily because the stage stuff makes doing it pretty simple). It is an effective 2 month trial if you use it as stated on their website but you can also use my referral link for a 3 months trial (I get gems in the barter). Also two of the tracks are currently free, being in Beta. The subscription is on the costlier side but they have spoken about rolling out special offers too here.
Thanks for the read 💙
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