Resources for Newbie Coders

 

I start this blog post with an important advisory note. You have to have a big desire to learn how to program before you sit down to learn how to program by yourself.

Because you want to expand your career or business, or because you want a career change, o because… well, fun, wanting to learn is the thing that will help you be a successful self-taught programmer.

When you are stuck in a coding problem and are searching for answers, it is very important to remind yourself about your reasons on why are you learning to program. With that said, let’s move on.

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*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link!*

Learn to code on your own

The internet is a beautiful place where we can find every type of information in a matter of seconds. That is A LOT of information.

Not every resource, either verbally or written,  explains every concept in such a manner that you can understand. Therefore, you can spend a lot of time researching for that course provider, magazine, or blogger that prepares learning material that your brain comprehends.

Also, if you are on a budget, it is time-consuming to find practice material that is free of charge. It is much easier to find free of charge theoretical material with a few practical problems.

I have spent long hours searching, reading, hearing, and viewing free tutorials. I will list, as my recommendations, all the resources that I have used for learning to understand and write HTML, CSS, Javascript, and frameworks such as ReactJS and AngularJS that are Front End web development.

I will be updating the list when I continue to find resources that have been helpful a couple of times.

Theoretical Resources

  1. If you have never taken a computer science, web development, or algorithm course, is required for you to take time to see, read, or hear what a program is, and how does it work. Learning to Program de Steven Foote (Senior Software Engineer at LinkedIn when this was published. You can buy the book through Amazon using my affiliate link here.) is an excellent book to break the programming ice. It explains everything from what a program is, how does it work, the various programming languages and their differences. Also, he guides you in creating a Chrome extension.
  2. MDN Web Docs – if a programmer would have a Webster Dictionary or the Bible it would be this resource. Here you will find every function, attribute, methods, variables, family, friends, neighbors and everything that has to do with HTML, CSS, Javascript, HTTP.
  3. Code Academy – is a programming language learning platform where you can create a free account. With the free account, you have access to the basic courses on web development. The good thing about this platform is that it is interactive. On the same platform, you can solve the practical example and the platform detects if there is an error in the code. I use this platform a lot to refresh basic concepts, especially for ReactJS.
  4. Eloquent Javascript – book (here is my affiliate link to buy the book through Amazon) with an online electronic copy that has some basic examples that are also interactive. As you can read from the title, it is focused on Javascript. Another good resource to have bookmarked on your browser.
  5. Jonathan Melgoza Blog – the only resource in the Spanish language on this list. The article that I include here helped me understand HTML, CSS, Javascript, and PHP because was one of the first articles I read on the subject.
  6. Stack Overflow – a resource where you will find a world of questions and answers between web developers. As a self-learner and newbie, debugging and describing your code in words can be challenging. This resource has helped me understand how developers communicate with each other when they have issues. It has helped me put into words my bugs. By reading that other people had the same problem as you, you can read how other people explained it, and how other people helped solved it.
  7. Github – is an online repository, and its main propose is versioning. I consider Github a good learning resource because it is open source. You can see the code of the components that are stored on the repository therefore, you can learn to write and maintain code. As Stack Overflow, which is based on questions and answers, on Github, you can read each change that users have made to their repositories, or how other users have collaborated on the project. 
  8. CSS Tricks – it has great articles that explain different ways to use CSS. I have bookmarked this article they did on FlexBox. I always go back to it when I am dealing with page layout.

Practical Resources

  1. Wes Bos – Wes is the MAN explaining Javascript. His 30 day Javascript challenge, Javascript 360, was my: “Oooohhhh I get it “ moment. After finishing his challenge I felt confident that I could continue learning my own. Javascript 360 consists of writing code for 30 different components of a web page in 30 days. Wes includes videos where you can see his coding process and he explains why he is writing the code as he is writing it, everything for free.
  2. Zell Liew – I subscribed to Zell Liew’s mailing list because his Learn Javascript description resonated with me. I felt like I was reading from a friend who understood my position. Most of the blog posts out there, do not explain things so anyone can understand. It is mostly assumed that the reader has a certain level of knowledge or degree, and well, not everyone is in that position. Zell explains for all. Although I have not taken to his course, this practical example demonstrates his ability explaining Javascript concepts in simple words.

You can do it

I hope that this list helps you start, or at least guides you, on your front end self taught journey. Learning to code requires a lot of reading and practice.

From the list I provided, MDN, Stack Overflow, Github, and CSS Tricks are the only resources that are not courses, training, or books. I would consider those as “Continuous Improvement Resources”.

The rest of the resources require either time to understand or time to practice. If you have finished with the resources listed in this article, I would recommend that you should start a small project for practice. You can search for a webpage you like and try to copy its look and functionality. You can try to create your portfolio from scratch. Practice, practice, practice…. I can not stress enough that you need to practice.

But also, take it easy. All of us have gone through that frustration when the program does not do what you want it to do. When those frustrating times kick in, think about how satisfying it is when it does work. It is even more satisfying when you realize that you can create on your own, and learned by yourself… (it is known).

By the way

This post was written while I was listening to Karen O and Danger Mouse’s new album Lux Prima. Karen O is the lead singer from the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which you should check it out too because is great! I had that album on repeat all day. I would recommend this album you want to something smooth but a bit upbeat.

Do you know of another great Spanish or English resource that is not listed here? Which resource would you recommend?

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