Tuts Plus

Tuts Plus is an amazing tutorial resource, this is really how you are going to get the cutting edge skills that are a bit above. If you google resources on how to do a specific new cool thing, you are going to be unique to an employer. These tutorials give you the skills to have a deeper understanding of the software you are using.

Code Academy

The Code Academy is a free resource with walk through tutorials and a sandbox environment to test your newly learned coding skills. Totally free and pretty good quality to get started learning about HTML and more. This is a great beginners resource, but will not be as expansive as some of the paid learning resources.

Frameworks

Essentially a coding language can be written a little however, there is some structure but also a lot of freedom. Organizing your code into naming conventions and pieces that you can re-use just makes your job easier. A framework is a collection of code put together by a team or individual developer including really common tools you will need and packaged in an easy to use way. Essentially you will get a default image slider built in, however if you don’t like the defaults you can modify them or use your own custom solution.

Frameworks are really great for rapid prototyping and rapid development. Depending on where you work later, you may be required to do production work which is build a landing page and sales experience as fast as you can. In that case you do not want to re-invent the wheel. This is when you turn to a framework to have some defaults built in that make your job faster. Frameworks are not necessarily the best of the best solution – they are great for large projects, templates and fast turnaround. If you are doing smaller scale custom projects a framework may be too bulky – too many unnecessary files you will never use.

Framework examples:

Okay so I get what a Framework is – Now how do I learn it?

The very best place to go to learn the framework will always be the actual source, the website where they host the download. They usually have some getting started resources and downloading the framework, digging into the documentation and attempting to use it for a project will really give you the best grasp. However a second best and pretty easy bet will be the learning resources I have mentioned before including team treehouse and lynda.com.

Learn HTML

First place to start in your web carrier is with learning HTML, and technically this is going to be HTML 5 although you may want to know the restrictions of previous forms of HTML as some companies require you to be pretty backwards compatible. Essentially there are so many places to learn html but I will list for you my favorites.

  1. W3Schools
    This site is a great reference later but also has some of the greatest online tutorials for very beginners, you can also test your code. These are not video tutorials.
  2. Lynda.com
    This is simply a really great place to learn just about anything. HTML is no exception, this is also a great place for beginners, on top of that the tutorials are video tutorials by vetted teachers so it might be like taking a class.
  3. Team Tree House
    Team Tree House is one of the better online tutorial sites out there geared for web designers and developers. Their modern approach is refreshing and their projects are of high quality.

Okay so what do you mean by Learn HTML

Learn HTML is a pretty vague way of putting it, and there is so much to learn by and technically you could get by with pretty little depending on your application. Essentially the most important part is the foundation, really understanding the syntax and the structure. Why should we only use one H1 – well some search engines would rank this information as more important so it is good to accommodate and write your code with this structure and hierarchy in mind.

Another really great thing to consider when learning HTML is learning how to make it accessible for blind users. Accessibility is highly valued by state and government employers not to mention is just good practice and also helps your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Accessibility has so many restrictions that if you are attempting to conform you will inherently write much better code, it will be organized, hierarchical and most importantly valid, which will save you headaches later when you are wondering why it doesn’t work in IE. This really helps you understand the old school internet and ensure backwards compatibility.

Team Tree House

Team Tree House

Team Tree House is a better quality, curated and catered learning experience for web developers and designers. Not only are the lessons more geared to techie folk, there are some fun elements including tests, bonus content that you can unlock and learning levels making it a bit like a game. Now those bonuses are actually pretty effective in the sense that you are encouraged to practice your skills in their sandbox environment which allows you to actually write code and get it “reviewed” which is usually a verbatim test which is not the best in the world but it’s actually pretty nice when you are trying to learn a new syntax.

Continue reading Team Tree House

W3 Schools

W3 Schools

Now I know when you see this website you are going to think, wow this is a resource for web design, not so pretty. Ok they have been around forever and I know it seems like an information overload but actually w3schools has some incredible resources on just getting started and you will constantly go back here as a reference because it’s simply got the good stuff.

Continue reading W3 Schools

Lynda.com

Lynda.com

Lynda.com is an incredible website with online video tutorials about just about anything. I know what you are thinking the promo video is silly, but it’s just true. The tutorials are good enough to get you well versed in the software. However keep in mind just knowing the software doesn’t make you a creative professional, knowing it well enough that you can get paid to use it makes you a creative professional. Always strive to push outside of the box. If you have an assignment to follow – tweak it, make it your own or do it again 100% on your own. That is how you go from being a passive learner to an active creative professional.

Pros:

Lynda.com has an incredible library where you can learn about anything related to the web or beyond.

Cons:

Lynda.com does not really have testing features to test your code, also the tutorials seem to be written for the lowest common denominator at times, have a slow pace, and can be hard to relate to real life scenarios. You will need to practice a lot to make this knowledge into anything.