One of the biggest advantages of pursuing a career in web development is that you don’t need to get a degree in computer science to be successful. Granted, an academic background will open some doors for you, but unlike many other jobs, it’s not an absolute requirement. There are people who have learned to code in their 40s, after working in finance all their lives, and brilliant teenagers who can build complex application before they even finish school. And all of this happens because there are thousands of useful resources that can you can use.
Whether you’re still in high school or you’re in your adult years, considering a career change, these 5 resources will help you along your learning journey and help you become a great coder.
1. Video Tutorials
What’s the first place you check when wanting to learn something new? YouTube, of course. If you’re not sure about working in web development just yet and you don’t want to invest in paid courses, YouTube tutorials are a great place to start, because they’re free, informative, and easy to watch. YouTube has a large community of coders, so there are many channels you can subscribe to. Here are just a few examples:
ProgrammingKnowledge – this channel was created with beginner programmers in mind, so it’s a great place to learn the basics of Java, Python, and C++
Treehouse – in addition to useful tutorials presented in a casual style, this channel also uploads interesting news and inter
TheNewBoston – although this channel hasn’t uploaded anything in a while, it’s still one of the best resources for beginners, because it has more than 4,200 tutorials.
Derek Banas – if you’re a fast learner, you’ll find the format of these videos, which compress the basics of programming languages in less than 60 minutes.
2. Paid courses
Once you’ve watched a few hours of coding videos on YouTube and you’re ready to move on to the next step, paid courses are another great resource. The Internet definitely doesn’t lack in this department, so don’t worry, you won’t have to change your schedule and join a physical class.
Udemy is programmers’ #1 source for paid online courses because they have hundreds of great options, conveniently sorted into categories. You can also see which courses are the most popular and this can help you decide on a programming language that’s in demand.
For example, Colt Steele’s The Web Development Bootcamp is a course that covers a lot of areas and it’s almost always on sale. Currently, it ranks first in Udemy’s list of web development courses, followed by The Complete Web Developer Course 2.0 from Jacob Butschek.
If you loved Treehouse’s YouTube channel, you can also sign up for the paid monthly subscription, which includes even more insightful lessons.
3. Coding playgrounds
Did you finish your first web development course and you’re ready to start a cool project? Why not share it on a coding playground?
Coding playgrounds are online platforms where you can write code, edit it, run it in real time, and share it with others so that they can give you feedback or help you debug it. Because they’re interactive and built around a sense of community, coding playgrounds are an awesome place where beginners can learn and make friends.
Some of the best platforms you can join include JSFiddle, Codepen, JS Bin, CSSDeck, and Dabblet. Each playground has its own unique features, so if you can’t find what you need in one place, you can always join a second one. Most coding playgrounds are free!
4. Royalty-free resources
Web development and creativity go hand in hand. However, not every image or icon pack you find online is yours for the taking and, if you want to make money from building websites (and you probably do!), you should build a generous library of royalty-free resources. To avoid intellectual property claims and risk losing your work, make sure all the tools you use to create great websites fall under the Creative Commons license. Here are some resources for starters:
- For photos and backgrounds: Unsplash, StockSnap, Pexels, Pixabay
- For vectors: Public Domain Vectors, VectorStock
- For icons: FlatIcon, Icons8, Iconfinder
- For fonts: 1001fonts, FontSpace
- For illustrations and clip art videos: Dreamstime, MotionElements, VideoBlocks
5. Dev communities
The Internet has made individual learning easier than ever before, but even the most skilled web developers out there need help from time to time. If a bug keeps you stuck, or you just want to bounce ideas off someone, a dev community can be a great place to find friends, mentors, or just some quick help really. The best communities for developers help you with up-to-date information on the best coding practices, new perspectives on issues you may not have noticed, and expert insights that you couldn’t get from an online course. Stack Overflow is the largest and most popular community for programmers in the world, so you should definitely join it if you’re looking for quality content and insightful discussions. If you can’t find what you need there, other options include GitHub, Reddit, CodeProject, and Dream In Code.