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Damian Demasi
Damian Demasi

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Recommended courses to learn web development + course giveaway

Becoming a web developer (or growing into that position) can trigger some extreme anxiety attacks and tsunami-like waves of uncertainty. This is why I would like to offer you a helping hand by recommending some of the best web development related courses I have taken so far.

Beware! This is a marketing loaded post! Nevertheless, I think you will find it useful, and you will want to take the opportunity to win a free Udemy course, so keep on reading!

Who am I to give you my opinion about courses?

First of all, I don't consider myself an expert on the web development subject. That being said, I've managed to finish several courses on Udemy, as well as freeCodeCamp and CodeCademy, which, in the end, allowed me to get a job as a software developer, changing my career path in my '40s.

If you want to learn more about this process, you should check this post out:

The Web Developer road map

Let's start with an overview of what a web developer needs to know in order to grow in its industry. I chose to start in the front-end because is easier to find jobs in (which does not mean it's easy, at all!), and I already have some of the back-end skills (although I will have to sharpen them in the near future).

💡 There is a great software developer roadmap, built by Kamran Ahmed, that you can find in his repository. I urge you to take a look at it to understand the dimension and extent of the web developer path.

For simplicity sake, I will be focusing on these areas:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • React

About free courses

Free courses are great because, you guessed it, they are free. But, many free resources usually just scratch the surface of a topic, teaching you the minimum. This is far from ideal, and it will require a great deal of research on your part to fill in the knowledge gaps.

I think free courses are a great way to start getting your feet wet on a topic, but they can only take you so far. This is why I would recommend doing them at the beginning. You will need to invest time and effort into researching by yourself (and practising as well) if you want to become proficient on that topic.

In the end, free courses are inexpensive in regards to money, but they can be very expensive time-wise.

FreeCodeCamp has a great curriculum, and I would recommend starting with the first three modules, in order:

  1. Responsive Web Design Certification
  2. JavaScript Algorithms and Data Structures Certification
  3. Front End Development Libraries Certification

freeCodeCamp Curriculum

All this content is far from enough, but is great to start working on becoming a web developer. I think doing these courses is a great foundation for what's next.

You can also make some free courses on CodeCademy, but if you want the good stuff, you'll have to pay (monthly).

There is also another free alternative: The Odin Project. This is more of a repository of content and links to different resources that will teach you how to become a web developer. It's not as structured as freeCodeCamp, but is a great resource to keep in mind.

About paid courses

Paying for a course is something that many disregards because of the sole fact that you have to pay.

“Why would I pay for something that can be found for free?”

That’s a question many ask themselves (me included). The truth is that most of the content found in a paid course can also be found for free (especially on YouTube), but it's scattered all over the place. Paying for a course is a way to be (almost) sure that the content will be free from gaps and it’s well structured and in a single place. This will save you a lot of ⏳ time, which in the end is more valuable than money 💸.

According to what I’ve seen out there, good paid courses do not go over $30. If you pay more than that, make sure the course covers more ground than the cheaper options, that its content is up to date, and that it's full of former students’ good reviews.

Here is a list of paid courses that I’ve taken (and, most of them, finished) in the last two years and that I can recommend. The list is ordered as I think is best to build the web development skillset from the ground up, especially once the free courses on freeCodeCamp are finished.

  1. 👉 Git Complete: The definitive, step-by-step guide to Git
  2. 👉 The Web Developer Bootcamp 2021 (another great alternative is The Complete 2022 Web Development Bootcamp)
  3. 👉 Advanced CSS and Sass: Flexbox, Grid, Animations and More!
  4. 👉 The Complete JavaScript Course 2021: From Zero to Expert! (the best course on JavaScript I could find!)
  5. 👉 React - The Complete Guide (incl Hooks, React Router, Redux) (I'm still doing this one).

As you can see, all of them are from Udemy. I just love that platform and I think is the best bang for your buck out there.

If you choose to do all of them, it can take you from 6 months to a year, depending on your previous knowledge and skills.

There are also other paid options, such as Team Treehouse and CodeCademy, but I think they are expensive for what they offer, and not too different from the Udemy courses I mentioned earlier.

Choose your own adventure

Have you ever read a Choose your own adventure book? I feel being a self-taught developer is a lot like that. Many paths to choose from, some of them leading to dead ends, a handful leading to real transformation. This is why I wanted to give you my opinion and recommendation about the path you can take, so you don't stumble over the same stones I did in mine.

Did someone mention a giveaway?

So, let me be brutally honest: I'm in the process of building a following. People that share the same interests and values that I do. This is why I'm in the process of building an email list. I would love to share my posts with people genuinely interested in them, and sharing a newsletter among my email list is the best way I've found for doing so.

Currently, as of 9th November 2021, I have only 4 subscribers, as you can see:

My subscribers

I would love to see that number passing the 100 by the end of the month (November 2021), so, if you haven't subscribed to my newsletter yet, you have a chance to do so now! If the number of subscribers reaches 100 by the 30th of November 2021, I will give away one of the 5 Udemy courses I mentioned in the About paid courses section to one of my subscribers (I'll select his or her name randomly from the list). I will be sending a newsletter announcing the winner, as well as in this post, so make sure to bookmark it.

This is your opportunity to jumpstart your web development journey, so go for it!


🗞️ NEWSLETTER - If you want to hear about my latest articles and interesting software development content, subscribe to my newsletter. I will be giving away a Udemy course among my newsletter subscribers if we go over 100 during the month of November 2021!

🐦 TWITTER - Follow me on Twitter.

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