How I’m Learning to Code

I first learned HTML way back when I was in middle or high school, I can’t remember. Mid-2000s, for sure. I’d even done some CSS – I have vague memories of a website I created where I shared…I don’t remember what, but it was purple – so diving back in hasn’t been too difficult.

Text Editor (it’s not your father’s editor…)

In fact, I’d say it was a breeze. New text editors like Brackets (see below) make coding HTML and CSS much, much simpler, due to color-coded text to make things easy to see and drop down menus to show options for each attribute. Like, why wasn’t this just always a thing?

Coding Example

The Course I’m Using

The course I decided to start out with is on Udemy– Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3. It’s a mouthful, but it had amazing reviews (as well as being on sale – Udemy has so many sales you can usually get any class you’re after for ten bucks at some point).

The course assumes you have zero experience coding, which was great for me. The instructor even went through how to download Brackets and set it up. The first few lessons went through the basics of HTML and CSS and introduced concepts of web design, from typography to layout to images and colors.

As you learn the code, you get to see it in real time thanks to Brackets’ “Live Preview.” You can see a picture of what you build first in the class below. Not pretty by any means, but it definitely has the look and feel of a standard blog, and you get to do all the coding yourself! It’s pretty awesome.

Coding Practice

The Killer Website Project

After learning the basics, the main bulk of the course has you build a website for a fake company called Omnifood. You can see the finished project first, and then work through the steps to build it from scratch, which is daunting at first, but it’s surprising how quickly the site takes shape.

I went from this…

Omnifoodtest1

…to this…

Omnifoodtest3

Omnifoodtest2Omnifoodtest4

…in just a few hours. It looks so slick, right?

I don’t by any means feel ready to tackle a paid project yet. I still forget what goes under a <div> element and all the attributes I need to consider, but it was a great starting point, and I feel like this course has really set me up for success in other classes.

Other Resources

Alongside the class, I’m also listening to two podcasts that have been really helpful. They’re more inspiring than practical at this point, but they do point me towards websites and other classes that I know I will use in the future.

Learn to Code with Me

CodeNewbie

I’m also trying to connect with other newbie coders and female coders in my area. Meetup has been the best so far. I recently went to a casual code and connect Meetup of the global group Women Who Code (WWC), and met some amazing people. I made some friends who are learning as well and also got to speak to some recruiters about what skills they’re actually looking for. It was a really positive experience, and I highly recommend anyone starting out to find a group as soon as you can.

Guys, I am just so excited about everything right now. The design aspects, the organization aspect, the editing and the actual coding bits…it’s all amazing! I can’t wait to see where this goes!

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