Just stop for a moment and take a look at your younger self. What was your big dream back then? Becoming a cop or a firefighter? Being a famous actress or singer? Or maybe you have been dreaming about being one of the Marvel heroes?
Well, either way, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I can show you how to become a hero. The bad news is that you won’t be a Marvel hero but… a front-end hero! Well, maybe that’s great news after all, huh?
In my honest opinion, there isn’t any perfect way to achieve this. Instead of doing exactly as someone is telling you in one of the trillion articles on this subject, try different paths and then decide which one works best for you.
Let’s assume that you are entirely new to the programming world. Your very first steps should lead you to get an internship or your first job as a programmer, i.e. as a junior web developer. How can you learn the basics of your chosen programming language? Here are a couple of knowledge resources:
The time of programming books has passed. Technologies are evolving faster and faster, so it’s hard to keep up to date with all of the changes. The only books that can help you are books about starting your career in the demanding IT world.
Maciej Aniserowicz, our Chief Technology Evangelist, who is also the most popular programming blogger in Poland, wrote a book about that. You can find it here. Unfortunately, it’s only available in Polish for now.
Codecademy – a bunch of interactive courses available for free. Updating to the pro version gives you access to extra practice and support. Codecademy also offers intensive programs such as “Build Websites from Scratch” or “Build Website UIs”
Price: free but paid options are also available
Codeschool – interactive courses for both aspiring and experienced developers. The free account gives you limited possibilities, but you can check out a few lessons
FreeCodeCamp – build projects for nonprofits, learn skills and earn certificates. Also, you will join a great community of programmers
TeamTreehouse – learn from 1000+ video courses, get help from members of the in-house forum and skyrocket your career
Price: 7-day trial, then $25/month
Finding a mentor who will tell you what to do and what you are doing right or wrong is probably the most expensive way of learning, but it may also be the fastest one. Think for a moment, maybe you already know someone who can help you out?
Google – definitely unexpected, huh? Sometimes the most obvious solution is the best
CSS Tricks – the cascading style sheets from A to Z. Don’t know how to create that impressive effect? You will find a solution here, probably
SitePoint – an online community of web professionals. Many tutorials, courses and books about HTML5, CSS3, PHP, you name it
StackOverflow – the largest and most trusted online community for developers, who can ask and answer questions regarding programming
TheCrazyProgrammer – the most straightforward fundamentals of Android, PHP, Python, SQL and many, many more
Coursera – many different courses prepared by top universities and organisations from all around the globe
Lynda – a wide range of courses on business, technology and creative skills taught by industry professionals
Price: 30-day free trial, then you can choose a premium plan starting from $19.99/month
PluralSight – PluralSight is, as they say about themselves, “the technology learning platform”. First, you will check where you are with your knowledge, and then, you will be able to gain a better understanding of most programming languages
Price: 10-day free trial, then $29/month or $299/year
Udemy – a global marketplace that connects teachers with students. Teachers share their knowledge in more than 65,000 courses, and students can learn just what they need at a reasonable price
Price: starting from $10/course
Finally… Your first project.
Feeling stronger day by day, course by course? It’s time to check your skills in practice! The best way to do that? Start your own first project. I will share some ideas of things you can do:
- Build your portfolio website. It will be a showcase of your works, bigger and better over time
- Try to copy a website that you like. This will help you to focus on “how”, not on “what”
- Redesign the website of a company near you and share it with them. It may be your first client!
- Talk with your friends and colleagues. Maybe some of them are in need of a brand-new website? It’s possible that your skills already allow you to make money as a front-end developer for the first time. If not, you will learn a lot more, which is even more valuable than money itself
Let’s get a job!
Now, you are ready. Or at least you think you are. Either way, you can at least try to get an internship or even a first job in the industry. Luckily for you, we are always open to welcome aboard new brave hearts with sharp minds, the will to learn and courage. If you are interested, check out our career page or just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s next? Learn, practice, repeat. Learn, practice, repeat. Learn, practice… You get it, right?
See you soon!