Complete Junior to Senior Web Developer

Review: Complete Junior to Senior Web Developer Roadmap

Ethan Glover

Andrei Neagoi's courses around React are starting to age, and they're not getting the updates they need. I removed his Complete Web Developer course from my recommended list for many reasons, including using a deprecated API for a project and not properly including hooks. Which has been the standard way to write React apps for at least two years. Instead, he patched the course with an explainer video saying, “You might still see React classes in the wild, but we'll still use them here.” Then tacked on hooks as an appendix item.

When it comes to his Junior to Senior course, it's a similar story. Except the course was already patched with an extra hooks section after the project was complete last year. Now, for that same project, when using create react app for the first time, React defaults to using functional components. (And hooks from there.) But instead of updating the course, Andrei changed a total of 5 videos (that's the entire “2022” update) to have students convert that functional component that React defaults to into a class component. He then spends some time ranting against hooks. Again, throwing out every argument he can think of, except the truth. He says other languages use classes, so students should learn them here. This is ridiculous, React is not a good place to learn object-oriented programming. Maybe typescript or node, but the comparison between React classes and a traditional class is a bit of a stretch. He also says students should learn about classes because it was the way things used to be done. That's absolutely fair, I like that, but don't build the whole project with classes only to tack on an update at the end. A third argument he throws out is that there is a “movement” to avoid hooks. There is not. Hooks are the standard way to write React apps today.

I don't know why Andrei has been so resistant to hooks for the last few years. I think when you take other things into consideration like a deprecated API in the web developer course, and the fact that Andrei rants against hooks at the start of a project in Junior to Senior only to update the project to hooks after it's deployed, this all tells me he's just not updating his courses.

I knew when Andrei started bringing on other instructors to Zero to Mastery and pumping out 3/5 courses like Academind, his own courses would start to suffer. And that's what's happening. I'm going to make a total guess and say he no longer has the time to properly care for his courses because he's trying to create a business. But the courses his business produces tend to be mediocre. Because they're pumped out at a very fast rate by instructors who frankly aren't that good at teaching.

OK... let's settle down and talk about the positive really quick. The Complete Junior to Senior Web Developer covers a lot of stuff. Image optimization, critical render path, code splitting, tree shaking, PWA's, testing, TypeScript, server-side rendering, security, code analysis, Docker, Redis, sessions, JWT, AWS, CDN, caching, GZip, CI/CD, and lots of stuff in between. Even if this course doesn't get many updates, these other subjects haven't changed much in the last 5 years.

Andrei Neagoi is NOT the guy to go to to learn React anymore. This is why my recommend list makes sure to keep a variety of instructors and schools to learn from. (I know it's heavy on ZTM, that is changing.) So if you ignore the fact that the React project is out of date, you can still get a huge wealth of knowledge out of this course. All things that will put you ahead of many, if not most developers.

So this is a very competent course overall. Andrei's presentation skills are great as always. The course follows what feels like a linear storyline to build up your knowledge incrementally. It's not just one random subject after another that never connects. Everything builds on the previous.

There's one thing that saves this course entirely from a worse score and being removed from the recommended list entirely. The React section is optional. So I'm going to put a big note on this. PLEASE SKIP THE REACT SECTION. There are courses that teach React properly. This particular course gives a general overview of a lot of subjects you should have an awareness of. What it does not appropriately cover is React. And you will not learn anything about classes by following that section as Andrei argues. That section is the result of laziness and nothing more.

Given the high quality of everything else and the fact that the React section is not required, ZTM's Junior to Senior Web Developer just barely eeks out a 4 out of 5.