How do you usually study for web development?

Hello everyone.

Recently I started to study the web like HTML and CSS and I started to ask myself if I am studying the right way.

I am curious to know how is the study process of the developers that already has experience or even those who are starting now in this field.

There is so many ways to learn nowadays like books, articles and tutorials on YouTube that sometimes I got lost in one or another.

Anyway, I want to read about how you deal with all this process and how is the best way for you.

Thanks, sorry for the grammar.

Looks like this is what you are looking for :wink:


If you are just starting, you should get some hands-on experience with coding. Many people start with Codeacademy. You’ll be coding straightaway and you will see the results of your work in the browser. Later on, if you enjoy it, you can look for more advanced study materials. There is so much material on the web that how you learn is really up to you. There are great free materials on Coursera, Udacity, EdX, Codeschool, Egghead and other places, if you like video tutorials. Personally I would avoid Youtube because you really have no guarantee of quality.

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A little piece of advice that really works for me when I want to learn programming is that when I follow tutorials I write the code myself. Testing it, changing it, adding code, removing code, even break it… This way I get a good sense of how that piece of code works.

There are many times when I am not on the computer and I can’t write code by myself, but I want to watch some tutorials, or read some articles in the field. But if I don’t practice that by myself, it won’t stick for a long time…

Well, this is me, and how I learn and practice. :slight_smile: Probably other peoples are able to learn better only watching :thinking: …

Have fun codding, this is really important. And never give up, even if it takes hours to understand a concept.


If you’re just starting, and don’t know any (or much) HTML, I would recommend first the W3C HTML5 tutorials. Start here
and then click on “Learn HTML”.These are simple, straightforward, and as previous commentators noted, you should definitely create your own simple problems and solve them. There is nothing like starting from the beginning, especially if you’re not sure what you know and don’t know. (The Mozilla stuff (MDN) is much more complex - use it after you’ve done the w3c tutorials.)

For CSS3, I strongly recommend the book “CSS The Missing Manual” by David McFarland. Very careful and complete description, lots of tutorials where you can write your own code. This is much better than using the web for learning, especially video, because subjects are simple to review (They’re in the book, on your desk.) . Use the web for reference.

While HTML and CSS seem simple, you should consider them (like any computer language) as two parts: The syntax, which is really simple (tags, open and closing brackets, dots, pound signs,dots and so forth) and the “libraries”, which are all the attributes and which can be really daunting and which have semantics. It’s the second part which is hard to learn.

If you don’t program (or don’t program much) I would recommend the book “Javascript and JQuery”, also by McFarland. Make sure you get the latest edition (2014). This will take you carefully and thoroughly through everything, again with tutorials. Do lots and lots of programming. Keep it simple.

My overall suggestion: Make sure you know what you know and what you don’t know. If you’re not sure, just start from the beginning.

Coding has two parts. (1) figure out what you want to “say”, then code it up. The first part in itself can be challenging (to say the least: read, for example, “The Mythical Man Month”).

Then I would say 80% of actual coding is debugging. You have to get a feeling for how to debug, and how YOU will debug, and you can only get this from doing it. Debugging is easier if your code is clear and documented. Debuigging where the forum can be invaluable, if your questions are short, clear and simple.

Some of the FCC coding examples seem simple, but this is deceptive: They can be surprisingly complex, and contain hidden gotchas. Get experience with coding. Just code all the time.

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If you are thinking about actual study techniques, rather than just courses and resources, then there are a number of things worth trying:

  1. Play: jump into codepen and just mess about, like a kid playing with Lego. This method is particularly good for html and css layout. Try for messing around with JavaScript.
  2. Analysis: When you see a bit of code in a course, copy it into a word document and explain how it functions, line by line. Then compare with the writer’s explanation. This works well with JavaScript.
  3. Shadowing: if you are following a course which involves building a project, then do the whole thing yourself. Download all the tools which the teacher is using, and copy everything step by step. This is great for learning syntax and getting to grips with build process.
  4. Problem solving: once you’ve learnt the fundamentals of JavaScript, get stuck into some algorithm challenges, such as on Codewars.
  5. Build stuff: the projects in fCC are the most important part. When you’ve learnt enough from the other methods, get stuck in.

Get your own homepage/site and keep developing it while you learn. Put it up on Github and the history will tell a tale about your journey in web development. :slight_smile: