Learn to Code

Friends have asked how to get started learning web development. The good news is that it's pretty simple to get started building websites. Like anything, it takes a lot more time to develop your skill to a professional level. Here are a few resources to get anyone started in the right direction.

W3 Schools is a comprehensive guide to web codes. Guided lessons and quick reference for html and css makes this very helpful tool for newbies and pros.


There are a wide variety of HTML editors but your can start with any simple program like Notepad or TextEdit. More elaborate programs such a Dreamweaver can write code for you but such WYSIWYG applications can slow down your learning and become a crutch. Although simple to use, the code they generate is often not semantic or efficient. I suggest learning to do it yourself, the time investment will pay off in better results.


Once you get into the code how to you know your doing it right? Easily check your programming with W3C's html and css validators. These tools check your code against the official standards and even suggests improvements.


There are countless books that can guide you through development of a simple sample site. I recommend getting books by experts in the industry: Jeffery Zeldman, Eric Meyer, Dan Cederholm, Jeremy Keith, and others. (I'm working on a specific list.)

Once you get started you can follow blogs such as A List Apart, Nettuts, Smashing mag, .net mag, and more to keep up with the latest techniques.

Have fun! Start with a project you're really excited about, instead of the one thats due tomorrow.