Years ago, I began writing websites by hand but I soon discovered WYSIWYG’s like Adobe Frontpage, Coffee Cup, then Adobe Dreamweaver and others. After that, I began to use CMS’s like Joomla and then WordPress and template builders like Artisteer. Thanks to all of these wonderful technologies, I’ve never had to actually learn HTML or CSS properly. I love the idea that I can create anything that I want with nothing more than my fingers and my computers, so I decided that it was fine time to learn.
Like pretty much everyone else, I work a demanding 8 to 5+ job and that, along with my commute, errands, gym, and spending time with my partner, meant that I had to be pretty creative with methods of learning.
- I started off listening to youtube tutorials while I worked. There are a ton of great resources out there but, since the web is constantly evolving, some of them can be a bit dated.
- I soon progressed to signing up for Lynda.com, an online learning company. This is in no way an encouragement for anyone else to sign up with them, but I have found it fantastic for my needs. It’s very video heavy, so I can easily listen to lessons while I work. I also signed up for Udacity (but I didn’t love the way the videos were formatted), Treehouse, and others.
- I take my laptop to work and, every lunch break, I sit in my car and work on web development.
- I offered to make a free website for my hair stylist and used it as my first hand-coded, responsive project. It’s not finished yet, but you can view it here.
- I downloaded every mobile app that I could find related to learning html and css and made sure to use those instead of facebook or randomly-surfing the web when I had a few moments to spare.
- I signed up for Free Code Camp which is an open source community that helps you learn to code and helps non-profits at the same time. I think it is a fantastic resource and I’m really excited to get further into my challenges so that I can start getting more involved.
This is all still a work in progress and it can be very frustrating. So much of learning is done through doing, and when you don’t have as much time to devote to doing as you do to listening, it can be a pretty slow process, but I’m dedicated and I’m going to keep pushing.