So I am a self-taught web dev & designer, I’ve learnt (& still learn) via many free & premium resources online, mostly free at the beginning. So I’d like to share with you some tips, resources, my mistakes & experiences. Sharing what I should have done as well as what worked etc thus helping & guiding you!
In brief (I’m not very interesting but read so you’ll understand my reasoning’s)
When I started coding I was a complete n00b! Wait I didn’t even know it existed!
Long story short I wanted to make a website so I googled how to make a website, a whole lot of drag & drop tools appeared & I think I “created my first website” with webs.com I didn’t like how I had a sub domain so I contacted a local host & asked him for a domain but in the end he ended up explaining to me that I needed to learn to code.
I started googling again how to code, I came across many websites that had premium courses but I wasn’t prepaid to pay because I was young & I really didn’t know what I was doing or planning on doing, I watched a few YouTube video’s & got an idea of what HTML was, then I googled it and I looked for a free course & codecademy was where I started!
It was difficult for me at the start, I didn’t know anyone coding, I didn’t know of any blog, forums. I didn’t know the terminology so I couldn’t google what I was looking for! I was really stupid & completely blank. I was lost at things like getting the site live, didn’t know about index, meta & a I had a lot of gaps which got covered by searching & later on I found ways that I could have avoided the gaps!
I promised a person a website when I didn’t even know how to code, so I had bought a domain & hosting. So making my first official website was a challenge. Long story short I couldn’t learn enough to present a professional website in a few weeks so I ended up using a template etc. But I was determined to learn so that’s when my journey begun!
Practicing while coding
Something which I did wrongly odd hey!
What I would do was watch/ read a whole section on a course and then go practice,
so I would try to learn it by heart and cram too much at once, in the end not learning much & exploding my brain poof!
After that I started coding as I go along, so read/watch a bit implement it and carry on. As well as practicing & playing around the code other than what was going on in the course. So after understanding & learning something play around with it before going onto the next.
Filling in the gaps
One course won’t teach you everything!
If you have taken the old HTML & CSS course by codecademy you would know that they only covered basics, I loved how they taught, how my work was instantly tested, I could see in real time what I was coding etc
But the course didn’t teach you from A – Z (code editor to hosting). As it only focused on the code and not anything else!
Taking multiple courses you’ll gain from the repetition and gaps will be filled. Course A might have what course C has, but course C has something which course A doesn’t have & so on.
Taking & practicing from multiple courses will help you as you will be learning something new, repeating what you have done maybe in a different example or method, by practicing you will get better at it.
Courses & Resources
What I’ve liked from each & how it benefited me
Quick note I haven’t completed many of the courses, some I have some I just went & learnt areas which I needed to learn.
Codecademy‘s HTML & CSS course as well as the Make a website- it has been replaced with a newer version (because of HTML5 & CSS3 & bugs in the course) The new course I have checked it out, its better in some ways, the learning interface has changed undecided on my opinion there.
What I liked about this course was that you read the lesson, it gives you instructions you type out the code, as you’re typing you see the magic happening and then you submit the code and immediately you are told if you typed the code correctly or not! Also the forum where you can submit question, communicate with others, help others & also read other peoples question and answers.
Udemy A course that helped me & filled in quite a few gaps was The Complete Web Developer Course – Build 14 Websites last year (I think) Rob launched a 2.0 so from what I’v gathered its similar to the first one just a bit more, building 25 websites & mobile apps and including python. I haven’t tried it out but I see good reviews and if its anything like the first one then you can’t go wrong.
I did the first course and I really enjoyed it, very practical examples. Nicely & clearly explained.
I watched a few videos from Practical PHP: Master the Basics and Code Dynamic Websites to understand the basics, explained in a very cool manner. Videos that were entertaining & educational 😉
I took their marketing, graphic design & intro to web development
I really enjoyed & learnt from the graphic design & marketing course, I didn’t have a background in either so it was a good start. With regards to the web development course it was really an introduction, it was nice I enjoyed it, I really liked the live session classroom feel, it was nice to ask questions etc. But it was very basic & slow.
Alison is a site not many know off, I did the Web Design course, from this course my aim wasn’t to learn the code, umm so I can’t really remember how it went with regards to actually coding, but what I wanted and gained from the course was a bit of design, hosting, domains and all of that kinda stuff.
No need for the link 😉 umm I’ve watched many videos on YouTube and I can’t recall.
With YouTube its the convenience, being able to just watch on a certain feature, certain aspects needs verbal explanation or sometimes when you don’t understand something you just need to hear it or hear it from someone else. a YouTuber I do remember is TheNewBoston I watched a few JS tutorials.
FreeCodeCamp umm hmmm, I haven’t actually used their interface to learn, I discovered the site too late so when I got on I knew what was going on, so I stopped going through the map because I was interested in learning something new & a lot of the map is connected so skipping through wasn’t something I wanted to do. the site is pretty cool to learn with umm if you’re a beginner I would recommend you try it!
Other resources I can’t list because I don’t remember, I would just Google my question or the specific feature etc and read what I found!
Please Note: Some of the courses mentioned above might have outdated content due to technology evolving, I shared by experience, tips & 2cents I hope it helps you, let me know!
I would recommend you read the following as I didn’t want to write/mention it again so yeah:
Become a Full Stack Web Developer FREE online
Healthy programming & studying!
How to stay focused being a freelancer / self study
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What is a full stack developer ?
Watch this video where Masha from Coding Blonde explains the term in the simplest of ways 🙂
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