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Getting started in web development with interactive learning environments

Posted on Jun 02, 2014.

The Digital team have been getting nostalgic this past week. Our new apprentice Sam has now joined us and as we guide him to learn the fundamentals of web site Mark-up like HTML. It’s got us talking about the resources we used to teach ourselves.

Something I’ve always loved about this industry is availability of materials and tutorials other developers have taken the time to create and maintain. I know I would have had a much tougher time learning without them so it’s been great to see old favourites like htmldog.com and tizag.com are still around.

Interactive Learning environments

Recently a whole new way of learning web development has been gaining popularity.  Skills like HTML and even PHP can now be picked up using websites featuring interactive learning environments.

Users of these resources get started by selecting the language they wish to learn. They then gradually build their knowledge as they progress through a course with bite sized lessons. Each lesson contains written or video tutorials and tasks that have users test their knowledge by solving real world coding problems.

An example of this is codecademy.com, a free service aimed at beginners with introduction level courses in HTML, CSS, JQuery, PHP & more.

What we liked about codecademy was the structure and their selection of mini projects that allow users to put into practice what they’ve learnt over multiple courses.  It’s a resource we would recommend to anyone interested in getting started in this industry and something we feel is a valuable part.

For more experienced developers, teamtreehouse.com and codeschool.com offer a more advance level of learning with practical challenges.

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