Frontend Masters is a website that offers video courses for front end engineering. Their courses specialize in development and technologies for the frontend, like webpages, HTML, JavaScript, React, and many others.

Tldr; expensive, but worth it.

They have also opened up a few courses that I found very helpful for free! Just sign up and check it out under the Free Courses tab. These are full courses, in addition to the Bootcamp.


Overview

Device support

Frontend Masters can be accessed online on any device as well as offers apps for Android and iOS where you can download the videos for watching offline. I recommend watching some of the more 'presentation' style videos offline, whereas for some other courses, you really want to be following along. You can also cast videos from your phone, which is a nice thing to have if you have a TV.

Course breadth

While Frontend Masters has probably more than 200 different courses, some of them are updated versions of the previous courses, and others for outdated technologies. I estimate there are about 100 modern courses on Frontend Masters.

The nice thing about these courses are that they are laid out in chronological order so you most likely wouldn't encounter these older courses. Even if you do happen to come across them, Frontend Masters provides a useful banner to inform you that the course is outdated and points you to the newest course.

Useful outdated banner

Because they have a smaller library of courses, you don't usually get to chose who to learn from, especially with more specialized technologies such as React or GraphQL.

However I would argue that this is a benefit because these people are professionals, and they have been curated by the Fronend Masters staff, so the courses are high quality, and the instructors are memorable. In fact I would recommend some courses because of the instructors teaching them. This also eliminates the dilemma of figuring out which out of the five similar Intro To React courses to take.

They cover all of the most popular technologies.

Course Depth

The instructors come from some of the big names: Netflix, Adobe, Microsoft. They bring best practices and point you at resources that they use and what to focus on. They teach the most useful parts of each technology instead of going over every aspect of it. It is a very targeted method of delivery and I felt I gained a lot.

"Not to say anything bad about Grails, but that's not where I wanted to be. I wanted to play in the space of JavaScript" - Kyle Simpson

The instructors are clearly passionate about their work and knowledge and it is easy to see that when they are teaching in front of you.

Some instructors from Frontend Masters

This is in contrast to the delivery in some other places where the instructors go over every aspect of the technology. It is boring, like reading a reference from the start to the end. It might produce 20 hour courses, but I'm not sure how valuable it is.

Frontend Masters usually breaks up key technologies into two courses:

  1. An intro course for complete beginners.
  2. An advanced course that is built for people who have finished the intro course as well as people who have a basic understanding in the technology.
Course listing

The courses are filmed over the course of one, two, or three days, with each day about accounting for 3 ~ 5 hours of course time. The videos are broken up into sections, but each section flows smoothly into each other.

Table of contents for Intro to Git

They do a simultaneous video of the lecturer and screen capture of the lecturer's laptop, so you don't have to squint at a video of a projected image. Because it is also a live workshop, there are question and answer portions that people raise both in person, and on the online chat to clarify some detail.

Typical video
The colors are horrendous on this projector. Hoo [shudders] those are bad colors. - Jen Kramer

I found that I really liked this live atmosphere of learning because it feels more like a course instead of online training. I think this is a unique feature that Frontend Masters offers that is distinct from a lot of other online courses.

Courses vary in terms of how interactive they are. There are some courses where there is a lot of back and forth between the lecturer and the people attending the course, some other courses rely a lot on practices to build understanding, and some courses focus on building out a single project.

Customer Support

Excellent and responsive. A few times that I contacted customer support to ask a question, I usually got an answer by the next day, even on a weekend. Customer service can be reached by the live chat icon on the webpage or in the App, which is very convenient and something I appreciate.

Cancellation is fast and quick, with two clicks you can cancel your subscription without having to explain yourself in an essay and interview afterwards.

Support chat

Cost

Usually at this section people will trot out the prices of similar competiting services and compare them. My experience is that this is not useful because it doesn't answer the question: Is it worth it?

Frontend Masters pricing page

It is worth it. For me, at my level of expertise which is not a lot. I had access to several other platforms that I didn't have to pay for, notable ones being Lynda (now Linkedin Learning) and Udemy, and I would definitely still pay for and learn from Frontend Masters.

It is pricey compared to some alternatives, but worth it. Because Frontend Masters produces the videos, the quality is consistent and the instructors have been vetted. The feeling you get is more akin to a school than to a platform that people publish courses on.

Because it is subscription based, it is best if you sign up when you have or are anticipating a big block of time free.

Who it is for

Frontend Masters is good for people who are looking to get an introduction into several new technologies. It targets beginner-intermediate level of knowledge.

I recommend looking at the course listings and watching the free previews of some of the lessons to get an idea of what Frontend Masters offers you. If you are still feeling unconvinced and are a beginner, I recommend trying out their free Bootcamp, where you can learn the basics of web development with courses that they have developed. These courses are the same as the ones in their library, so you'll get a good taste of what it is like.

No certs?

Frontend Masters does not provide certificates. A lot of the competition offer certificates, but I feel like these are a gimmick at best. It is hard for me to see the value of these certs, especially when it comes to self-promotion or resume building.

I feel that a better way to indicate what you have learned is to actually apply these new skills and knowledge in a project that you can build and then show people.

Conclusion

I really like Frontend Masters and I highly recommend considering it if you are a beginner.