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Lorenzo Zarantonello for This is Learning

Posted on • Originally published at Medium

The Tools I Used To Become A Web Developer

These are the tools and platforms I used while working toward a web development position.

I will break them down in

  1. Learning Web Development 
  2. Coding Opportunities 
  3. Networking

While I mentioned the tools below in a longer post, you don't need to read all of it to get some value out of this.

Learning Web Development 

I completed Learn JavaScript and Building Interactive JavaScript Websites on Codecademy.
I used that platform because I used it before to learn Python and I liked it.

I also started the Legacy Responsive Web Design path on FreeCodeCamp (now Responsive Web Design).

Different websites have different opinions on what you should learn or not. Too much information was confusing me. So, I decided to pay for a subscription to Codecademy and stick to the Web Development path (now Full-stack Engineer). 

Finally, I started Fullstackopen offered by the University of Helsinki. This was hard but incredibly valuable, in my opinion. And it is free. 

All of this doesn't include the YouTube videos I watched or the post, articles, and things I read on the side simply because I don't remember all of them. 

Taking Notes

While learning, I noticed I took a lot of notes. Writing things down helps me learn. I have heard the same from others. Maybe you can try it?

I thought it could be nice to write my learning online so others could benefit. 

I started to write my learning on a website, and here is one of the first posts: A Simple Website Style Guide. Recently I messed up a few things while changing the URL structure, so if a link doesn't work you can find the relative post on this summary page. Or leave an angry comment below :)

A Simple Website Style Guide - Build a simple website

Learn coding by building a simple website using HTML and CSS. This article provides a step by step guide to quickly build your first website.


Other Resources

Among other resources that I used on and off, I would mention:

Coding Opportunities 

Hot take: Coding opportunities are everywhere.

As said above, this includes participating in or looking for coding events, hackathons, public and private training programs, etc.

Ask friends or people in your network. If you work in a company where there are developers, ask them. 

Use platforms like, Codebar (especially good for minorities), Eventbrite, LinkedIn groups and events, and local Facebook groups and events.

In many places, you can google "React events in [CITY]", "Angular events in [CITY]", "Coding events in [CITY]" and all the variations you can think ok.

If possible join physically and connect with peers, teachers, mentors, etc.
If you are into hackathons, Major League Hacking offers a good list of hackathons you can attend online or offline.

2023 Season Schedule // Major League Hacking

Find, compete, and earn points at the largest, most diverse hacker events in the world.



The way I see networking includes 

  • Formal networking - Participating in networking events like job fairs, and recruitment days, polishing your LinkedIn profile, etc.
  • Informal networking - Telling everyone around you that you are learning to code. Just let them know that you are learning and will be looking for a position in a few months. 

Soon or later, you will notice patterns. 

Developer friends will start asking questions like "have you already studied X?", and "are you using Y?". Make sure you take notes, ask questions, understand why you should know those things, and then go learn them.

This is invaluable to adjust your direction. But don't swing from JavaScript to GO/Rust/XYZ just because someone said it is the future. Focus on something or get a mentor who can help you with that.

This post is part of a bigger reflection on how I became a web developer, including luck.

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