How do you get started with web design and development? It’s something I get asked a bit, often by people not necessarily looking at a career but looking to get to grips with the online world a bit better and start to do things for themselves.
There are two resources I point them at every time – Don’t fear the internet and Treehouse. So here’s a quick summary of what they are and why I recommend them.
Don’t fear the internet
Firstly www.dontfeartheinternet.com/ is probably the best place for anyone to get started with the basics. It’s a site put together by Jessica Hische and Russ Maschmeyer with the aim of providing a good starting foundation in CSS and HTML for non web designers. It nicely laid out and works well as a resource for people not wanting to take their learning too far and also for people who just want to spark their interest in the subject – and best of all, it’s free!
The second site is teamtreehouse.com which is a site I’ve been recommending to people for a long time now without ever actually using it. But this week I found myself with a relatively clear week and spotted an offer for a free months membership – so I dived in for some iOS and Andriod app learning – and it is every bit as polished and well put together as I expected. Even for a paid membership it would be well worth every penny, you can pick a target and there are road maps to guide you through the lessons and help you keep learning. The tutorial videos are very well done and there’s a pace to the learning that won’t get newbies lost and will allow more experienced people to skim through without reviewing stuff. All in all a great site and well worth it if you want to put a bit more investment in.
Getting more advanced
There are many ways you can start getting into more advanced stuff – the great thing about the internet is there’s so much learning online for free, so many tutorials, so much documentation, you can easily get lost in it all yourself.
I found that one of the best ways to learn was to take things apart. My very first job after university I was a little under schooled in PHP and learnt a lot on the job – working on an open source platform I could dive in and see how things were done and learn from what was already there.
By far the best way to learn is to get started doing something, even if it’s just a little demo project, experiment, play around and you’ll soon be spotting your mistakes and keep your eyes open as there’s plenty to learn from online.