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How to get started on your web development journey

As part of a few big designer Facebook groups, I often see people reaching out to ask how to get started in web development. More and more designers are seeing the value in learning how to code. Not only does it open up a whole extra market for your freelance business, it deepens your understanding of web design and adds to your value from an employability standpoint. Perhaps most importantly: It’s fun!

Online courses

One good way to get started is to follow an online course. Make sure it’s a course that suits the level you are at. I myself started with a very basic development course to get an understanding of the field and what I’d like to focus on specifically. A couple of things to keep in mind: make sure you check out a short preview of the course to make sure you like the pace and style of teaching, and don’t forget to take a look at the reviews to make sure there are lots and the average score is pretty high.

Some courses we love: The Complete Web Developer Course, Ultimate Web Designer & Developer Course and Foundation HTML, CSS + Javascript.

Online coding Schools

Enroll in an online coding school for a more structured and organized space to learn. Most coding schools offer paths that start out with a very broad base of understanding and eventually have you choose what you would like to specialize in, whether that’s a certain field (Frontend/Backend) or a particular framework or language (php, python, react).

Good places to learn: Pluralsight, SuperHi and CodeCademy.

Local Bootcamps

In- and around most bigger cities it’s pretty easy to find a local bootcamp nowadays. The demand for web and app developers is so high that bootcamps are popping up all over the place. Most bootcamps offer short and intensive courses for people looking for a quick career switch. Within 3 – 6 months, you can be a fully certified Jr. Web Developer. Some bootcamps offer a job guarantee after passing the course and some even charge the course to your future employer. Make sure you read the fine print to ensure you don’t get locked into a multi-year contract to pay off your bootcamp costs.

YouTube tutorials

YouTube is a magical wonderland when you know what you’re looking for. There is a YouTube tutorial for anything you want to work on (seriously, I fixed my dishwasher with a YouTube tutorial the other day). When looking for a tutorial, make sure it is recent (the field develops at a crazy pace), has good audio and video quality and comes from a trusted source.

Some great people to subscribe to are Brad Hussey, and Traversy Media.

Sneak a peek

Always keep an eye out for chances to study how other people code and structure their work. Download templates, experiment on CodePen and checkout GitHub.

For me, learning how to code seriously leveled-up my career, made my day-to-day work more fun and added immense value to my business. I strongly encourage everyone, particularly designers, to learn how to build beautiful things with code.

Have fun, and when you get stuck on your journey, Reach out.


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