I can help you!

I’ve recently kicked off the newest facet of my business, personal digital training web link. I’m taking the same approach to teaching as I did with design and development: learning by doing. I’m currently offering free sessions on a variety of subjects, but the most popular by far has been web development

With so many sites devoted to teaching the fundamentals of coding, I’m see no re-invent that wheel. My curriculum will leverage existing sites such as Free Code Camp, Code Academy, Code School and others to provide my students with exercises. Each student will then take these lessons and apply them to a personal project of their own choosing, applying their newfound knowledge towards the completion of something real.

This blog post will serve as a repository of resources, references, and tools for new students.

Online Courses

This is the first place I send anyone who has no coding experience. You will dive right into doing basic coding with FCC’s excellent educational interface and a massive support community. I’m currently working thru their curriculm to attain all four of their certifications: Front End, Data Visualization, Back End, and Full Stack. Best of all, as the name implies, it’s absolutely free!


Free accounts are prevented from accessing most quizzes and challenge projects on many courses, but there are still a lot of great resources you can dig into without having to shell out a dime.

Recommendations:


Code School site has much less content available to free users, but you can check out the first level of every course. The site has similar in-browser coding tools similar to the previous two sites, but they set themselves apart with high-quality video introductions to each series of exercises. It’s also worth noting that they feature some excellent video series that are all freel.

Tools of the Trade

As you advance deeper into the world of web development, there will be a much wider array of apps to dig into for improving your workflow and productivity, but anyone who’s venturing into the field for the first time will need these essentials:

Sublime Text

Sublime is as fast as it is powerful. It has excellent code completion and syntax navigation, but one of my favorite features is the file navigation sidebar. When working within a set of files, you can simply drag and drop your folder onto the app and have a navigable list available in the sidebar.

I could write a whole series of posts on how to use Sublime to its maximum potential, but for now I’ll just share this excellent video series that goes all the way down the rabbit hole to reveal the truly awesome power of this text editor. Most newbies will probably only find first few videos useful as they get started, but you should definitely at least check out tutorial #8 in this series about creating snippets. This is one of the most useful features of the app if you find yourself rewriting the same bits of code ever day.


Filezilla

When it comes time to push your files to the webserver, Filezilla is tool for the job. The “Synchronized Browsing” feature is especially useful for making sure you’re uploading to the correct space on your server as you drill down into your local folders.


Google Chrome

When I first started out coding, the most useful feature of the browser was the ability to “View Source”. Now all the major browsers come with a suite of tools that allow you to inspect and manipulate CSS properties, test JavaScript, and emulate various devices. This app is more of a personal preference, since Safari, Firefox, Opera and Edge all have similar sets of tools. No matter which one you decide to use as your primary inspection and testing tool, you will want to have all of them on your machine for testing.

For a solid primer on what you can do with Chrome’s Dev Tools, check out Code School’s excellent free course.

References & Resources

Stack Overflow

Nine times out of ten if you search Google for a problem relating to development, the top results will originate from StackOverflow. Once you start getting your development groove on, this is also a great site to build up your reputation and credentialize yourself by answering new questions.


HTML Dog

The authors of this site have been churning out guides and tutorials for over a decade now. Their aim was to take complicated documentation and make it simple enough for anyone to understand. The site features tutorials, techniques, sample code and an extensive list of references.