Developing more than just a great design.
An online resource to get to that next level.
Posted by on December 22, 2018

When creating a new website it is always important to have a solid foundation in the design development aspect. You must create a visually appealing site to catch the user’s attention, and the site must be easily navigated if you wish to keep that user from moving on the next place on the list. There are myriad resources out their to help you shore up those foundational aspects, such as: responsiveness, image manipulation, typography, and color theory. But what happens when you want to move beyond a static design to something more complex, say developing a site that serves up dynamic data that may vary from user to user. Well, there’s help for that too, and that is what I want to discuss.

There are a number of free educational platforms out there, but I would like to discuss Free Code Camp.  I’m someone who learns better from doing rather reading a book or listening to someone on YouTube who writes out all the code for me.  With this platform you take an iterative, step-by-step approach to learning different aspects of development by coding hands-on. The interface is simple to use and there are tips and tools if you get stuck along the way. Lessons are grouped into various development fields, any of which you can jump into straight away. There is a natural progression if you are starting from the beginning, but you can start where you are interested.

Personally, I have pretty much mastered HTML and CSS, and I am pretty well-rounded in break-points and responsive design. I did want to check out Flexbox, however.  So I jumped into that, knowing that I had the basics of CSS down already. Next, I wanted to get more in-depth into Javascript and jQuery than just the plug-ins I was using to fancy up my site with scroll animations and other movable parts. So I started into that those languages next. Beyond that, I would like to look into web apps development using something like React or Redux. I’m not there yet but I could be soon, and that opens me up to new employment/contract opportunities.

So JS frameworks and such aren’t your bag, maybe your more into algorithms, data modeling, database, or security. It’s all here, and all free.  The only real cost is your time and effort.  If you have an itch to jump into something new and challenging, then I would definitely give it shot. I checked Free Code Camp out initially because I wanted to learn some new things, but wasn’t sure what exactly. I don’t want to get stuck doing the same thing over and over, I always want to expand my knowledge.  I’m a freelance developer, so I have a bit of an inferiority complex about how I stack up with other professionals in my field, so I am always trying to find ways to improve myself. Plus, I just love to learn, in general. If I can better my professional self in the process, that’s just extra gravy. This platform gave me a bit of a direction to go, and so far, I am enjoying to journey.


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