I'm new to Web Development, requesting recommendations

I am new to coding. I am 31 and am now trying to break into coding. I have been in physical labor for the majority of my work history and am now unable to do anything I was previously qualified to do due to a work accident. So I am looking to get into the career I wanted to go into back in high school, web development. I have time to learn due to the fact that I still have at least two surgeries before I am capable to get back into the workforce, and I am hoping to just do some freelance work to make a bit of money here and there as opposed to working for a big corporation.
I know that my current goals are to learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery. As to where I will be going after that I am unsure. I am interested in learning front-end and then work my way toward full stack. I am not sure if I want to go PHP or Ruby yet.
Any recommendations (for study materials, or directional guidance) would be appreciated.

I would say, based on what I have seen from the UK, that going back to school would not be the best idea as what they often teach is out of date, with some schools here still teaching table website design.

Having said that I would recommend online courses, and also giving things a go, and do not worry about things going wrong. For the online courses I would have a look at Learnable, and specifically the Learn Web Development path at: https://learnable.com/paths/learn-web-development

When starting out I would look at the HTML and CSS first and them move onto JavaScript and move to JQuery if you want to.


Thanks for the recommendations, I will check them out.

I highly highly recommend:

  1. Harvard OpenCourseWare Introduction to Computer Science
  2. Harvard OpenCourseWare Building Dynamic Websites
  3. Mozilla collection of learning resources (or this new version)
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Hey Jeff, how come you linked to an older copy of the Mozilla site? Is the current site not as good?

Sadly I don’t think it is. They seem to have adopted an MDN-only policy, so other great learning resources got left out. The new site doesn’t seem to link to CodeCademy or Google Code University or Dev.Opera or Eloquent JavaScript or many other greats. Instead, the beginner > JavaScript basics is just a very short article, and the “intermediate” > JavaScript is a very short list of MDN-only resources.

EDIT: Actually I found their tutorials page, which seems to match the original learning page. So I suppose my complaint now with their new site is usability. I knew what I was looking for and I still had a hard time finding it. And even now that I’ve found it, I still think the site’s organization is weird. For example, I’d expect to find CodeCademy under “I’m a beginner” > JavaScript, but instead it’s under “I’ve mastered the web” > Tutorials > Introductory. That doesn’t make any damn sense.


I like MDN and use it as a reference quite often as my preferred go-to site (even though w3schools usually comes up first in the SERPs :wink:) .

But I’m usually not “learning”, just checking if my memory is correct or if things have changed any.

I absolutely agree. I don’t mean to criticize MDN in general, but just their /learn page, which used to be a dead simple list of excellent learning resources, but today is terribly poorly organized.

Thanks again for the info. I am going to run through some tutorials to do basic front-end development, which will take me to a point where I will then have to choose which language to go with (PHP, Ruby, etc…). I keep finding good tutorial courses but they all teach different languages after you get past JavaScript/JQuery. So I just have to decide which language I want to end up learning first.

I would recommend you buy these books. I was recently reccomended them, and I bought them a few weeks back. They are really good, straight to the point, and explain everything in great detail. Sometimes it explains in to much detail, but its still a great set.

I would also recommend you look through a topic I recently made,I got some fairly good answers on where to start.

Also, make sure to check out learnable, there are lots of great courses and books there to help you.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the info, Toby. I actually already have those two books and am going through them. The link to your previous conversation are very useful. I will go over them in more detail tomorrow.

Just curious here. Almost 95% of the people tell me to work with Chrome. This is the first I have heard about anyone working with MDN. Is Firefox still concidered a good developers option?

It depends on your work flow. I use FF instead of Chrome :slight_smile:

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I use both Firefox and Chrome.
I’m more familiar with Firefox dev tools, but I’m getting used to using Chrome dev tools some.

Both seem to pretty much have the same features but are laid out differently.

I have the Firefox Developer Edition, but I haven’t used it often enough to see where it’s much different.

I keep seeing Learnable mentioned as tutorial sites. Would it be worth paying to get a subscription there?

I think they still have a 30 day trial for 1 dollar, so just go find out :slight_smile: .

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