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Learning resources for Self-taught developers

pachicodes profile image Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) ・4 min read


As you probably know by now, I am a self-taught programmer. For the last year and a half I taught myself HTML, CSS, Some JavaScript, a bit of UX and recently even some WordPress and Ruby.

There are a lot of resources out there and you probably know about them, but today I am writing about the ones I have personally used. I will tell you why I like them and what I learned. While most are free resources, some are paid.

The very first platform I used was Codecademy. They have free and paid programs, I used the free. Here I learned intro to HTML and CSS, the Command Line and some responsive design.
I really like their class format, you read them you practice. So I recommend it for people walking their first steps, specially if you are comfortable with reading, I know sometimes videos can be a bit too fast paced.

Once I was comfortable with HTML and basic CSS, I did the CSS Layout Workshop by Rachel Andrew, this one is paid But I am not sure about the price because it was a gift. But Rachel is just awesome and she really knows her CSS, so if CSS is important to you, I would recommend it.

I did some classes from Brazilian professor, I will share here for reference but the material is in Portuguese:
Advanced Positioning in CSS, Typography and UX design at Origamid

Again, once I had some confidence in my HTML, CSS, some design and UX, the Command Line and git Skill, I started to learn to PROGRAM!!!
I was soo excited to learn JavaScript. But brother told me to do this one Udemy course and... All my excitement dissipated. It was a very good course, but I personally just didn't like the teaching style.

After that I did this free Basic JavaScript course, again in Portuguese, and this time the professor was soo good and I just LOVED his teaching style, that I finished this course SUPER fast lol

Currently I am reading Eloquent JavaScript, I know this books has great reviews, but I didn't want to get in until I had some notions of JavaScript. And now I use it as a reference book, but I also read it a bit everyday.

And to work on my JS skills, I am currently doing #JavScript30 by Wes Bos. It is a 30 days challenge (you don't have to do in 30 days) where you learn, get some coding done and in the end add something new to your portfolio.

While usually don't spend for my online learning, but I absolutely LOVE SkillCrush. They have a blog full of cool stuff and a nice free "Coding Camp" that is nice for beginners on their first steps.
That being said, I am a student at their Break into Tech Course. I have been paying a monthly payment (total 12, but I am half away there yey), but will have access of the course forever, and this particular course includes a bit of everything, from Command Line and Git to JavaScript, Ruby and WordPress. You also get some mentorship and they are weekly calls you can join if you have classes. Plus the slack community.
It is nice because I can do it at my own pace. Some days I do a lot, some weeks I do nothing lol But like I said, if you have some money do invest, I recommend checking out their material. But REMEMBER, what I love may not be the best for you, so watch some of their free material and get your questions answered before making any commitment.

Also, when I am not really sure I fully grasped a concept, I just google it, read articles until I find one I like ( CSS Tricks rules ), and watch videos ( Fun, Fun, Function is my favorite channel) to deep my knowledge in JavaScript concepts.
People often tell me to read the documentation, but honestly I have a hard time fully understanding it, sorry people!

Last but not least, as a self-taught person, I often feel afraid about any gaps I may have, specially since I never even got close to college and I am intimidated by CS kids :( So I just started taking this free online Harvard class, called CS50. It is a intro to computer science class. While the lectures are a bit longer that I am used too, the professor is fun and energetic, so I was able to sit for the entire lecture lol. The exercises are challenging and fun, and I feel fancy for doing a Harvard course lol
While it is free, you can pay 90$ to get a certificate in the end of the course. I didn't pay, but I kinda want to. Would you pay? p.s. I am underemployed and broke.

So there you have it, my precious resources.
If you have any great Node.js and React materials to share, please do in the comments, as those are my next steps on my learning Journey. Also, JavaScript of course, because I am studying some JS everyday, probably until the end of my life!

That is all for today

Happy Monday!


Discussion (12)

Editor guide
thecodepixi profile image
Emily A. Pixi

Have you ever tried or thought about Treehouse? I have a friend who uses their courses and loves them. Might be worth taking a look at! It's on my list as well.

P.S. I also dipped my first toe into programmer via CodeAcademy back in (I think) 2015. But I couldn't figure out how to close a loop and crashed my computer a dozen times and then didn't try programming again until 2017 lol

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

Treehouse Is one of those sites I keep reading but never tried, once I get a job I will check it out.

lol OMG those evil loops ! Who never forgot to close one lol
I am glad you it didn't traumatize you forever lol

austinstanding profile image
Austin Standing

I've had a good experience using Class Central to find courses like CS50 you mentioned. I appreciate it because it aggregates all of those learning sites and makes it easy to find what you want and at your price. (Not sponsored or anything, just had a good experience.)

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

Thanks for sharing, I will check it out!!

melad_j profile image
Melad Javadi

There's also a great all called Enki which gives you daily bite sized lessons on topics you chose (I've chosen CompSci, JavaScript and general Web development). You select what skill level you are and every day you get a small little lesson and a quiz as well to test your understanding. It's a pretty nifty app!

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

That sounds interesting, thanks! I will sign up!

cjtaylor1990 profile image
Corbin Taylor • Edited

I can attest to the quality of the premium content on Codecademy. Their Career Paths are quite excellent. I've done their CS path (Python based) and that is great for learning basic data structures and algorithms. Their Web Dev path is longer but excellent, going from basic HTML to full stack. Some of it is a bit dated, but it's a great jumping off point. I also did their Intro to C++ and am currently doing Intro to Java.

For more coding interview type questions, I love I'd suggest doing a basic data structures and algorithms online course though.

Like you, I'm currently going through Eloquent Javascript, and that's an excellent book. I'm also going through two other books, Clean Code and Designing Data-Intensive Applications. The former is about best practices and habits for professional coders. The latter is more systems design.

I'm also experimenting with Pluralsight, which has classes on a lot of different topics, including more advanced topics.

My self-learning has been quite successful. I was recently offered a position as an entry Software Development Engineer at one of FAANG companies. I wish you luck in your journey! =)

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

First, congrats on your job offer!!! That sure is inspiring to read from a self-learner !!
And thanks for all the tips, I will try and explore them!

cjtaylor1990 profile image
Corbin Taylor

I will say that I've had a lot of opportunities that others normally don't have. I've had a lot of chances to use my Python and C++ skills in my Astronomy PhD research, so I've been able to hone those skills. Other than a few odd things here and there though, the core of my skillset is self taught. I've just been lucky. That being said, if you try really hard and have patience, I'm sure you can reach whatever goals you set for yourself.

pracoon profile image
Prasham Ashesh

I remember the time when codecademy was totally free.
I hope they earn so much that one day they release all their content for free.
It would be amazing for so many young devs, especially here in India.

pachicodes profile image
Pachi πŸͺ (she/her/ela) Author

That would be really awesome!!!

cjtaylor1990 profile image
Corbin Taylor

Oh, and if you want to pick up a database query language, the free classes on the MongoDB website are excellent and really beginner friendly.