So you want to work on the internets

Through many LinkedIn threads I have discovered that there are a great many future web developers, font-end developers and web designers that simply don’t know where to get started on their web career.

I also get this question a lot…

Can you just teach me to make my website?

– Rando asking me

Sure, do you have ten years?

– Me

Maybe I’m just rude but essentially I’m trying to make the point that unless you are a prodigy or simply a really fast learner it is going to take a long time to get great. There is just a huge curve between people who are ok, and exceptional at what they do and there is plenty of mediocre on the web, and who wants to aspire to that? So if you want to be simply awesome and hirable and paid well and promoted and a BFD then first you have to want to work hard, given. Second you need to get started now.

First place to get started, some good old HTMLs the old fashioned way. I’ve decided there are so many styles of learning, audio, visual, sucking the brain power of others (I prefer, to be taught one on one in an apprentice format), reading countless forums and sifting through the thrift shop of the internet for a gem of information, trusted sources, articles, listicles, linked in comments, YouTube, the twitter, list goes on. Here are some of my faves, keep in mind we may be different and you must choose your path padawan.

  1. Learn HTML
    HTML or HyperText Markup Language is the foundation for websites on the inter-webs. ( I am being ridiculous on purpose, just go with it) It is a structured language that is the foundation of how things get displayed and organized on a web page. Go to your favorite web page, right click (depending on your browser) now click view source. Just blew your mind right, well most of what you’ll be seeing is likely HTML. This is the foundation, start here. Also if you are going to bother to learn HTML – learn HTML 5.
    There are so many ways you could do this, but if you are looking for resources on the internet check out Learn HTML, also if you want to bookmark a page that you will keep going back to go to my Resources page where I have all of the resources you would need for your web job for pretty much ever. I did this mostly as a tool for me, but now I realize other people can benefit from these great resources. You’re welcome.
  2. Learn CSS
    CSS is pretty much the same story, this the next foundation of the internet because this is where you tell those HTML building blocks, be pretty! Essentially CSS is a language allowing you to control the visual display of the html elements on the page.
  3. Learn a framework
    I’m going to make some enemies here because some might disagree. But after you have a foundation in HTML and CSS, I think that a framework is a great place to start. A framework like Bootstrap or Foundations¬†is key to understanding how you can get really creative with some restrictions. Plus if you go work for the man someday he might make you use it. Frameworks do in fact save time for rapid prototyping and also templating, but I still hand code landing pages because who cares they are like the dixie cups of the internet. Use then throw away.
  4. JavaScript
    What Javascript after framework – now that’s just crazy talk, well yes it is but it is also very real. I think a framework will give you a little plug and play JavaScript functionality to see and some libraries to work with and from there you can start learning for your own. First use libraries, like JQuery to see how experienced people have created commonly used web solutions then go ahead and tack the beast for yourself.