February – Week 3

I certainly don’t want to dissuade the newcomers in the audience. Instead, I’d simply recommend that they be prepared for the long-haul. Development isn’t something that you knuckle down and learn in six months (despite what some infomercials may say). It’s a non-stop battle, not too dissimilar from an RPG. Little by little, your skills level-up. But it’s a slow process. The key is to love it, and to never stop…even when you’re overwhelmed with frustration and confusion.
– Jeffery Way – Owner of Laracasts and developer evangelist

We’re breaking out of the Sandbox today and getting into a different style of learning: screencasts (or tutorial videos or instructional AV experiences…). Now you might suspect watching someone type while you hurriedly struggle to catch up a more regressive style than the interactive Codecademy style tasks. Well, I really encourage you to try them.

We’ll be watching a lot of videos from various experts (or at least knowledgeable amateurs…), their mostly offering free guides and we’ll take what we can get.

First up is a set of free videos on Tuts+, (these are free – some Tuts+ courses are free, others are premium) oh and you have to sign up. It’s well worth the effort, because I’ve watched a lot of videos, and hands down Jeffery Way is the best I’ve come across. I dislike waving other peoples flags (I’m British after all) but I’ll make an exception for this guy. His videos tick the boxes: easy to follow, concise, explains what he’s doing and knows his stuff. I don’t know the guy, but he’s helped me out a great deal with his videos, and I know he’s got a good number of fans around the internet. It’s an old series but all still relevant information, follow it closely. He splits it up into 30 days but I’d work through quicker than that if you can. He’ll also introduce you to Sublime Text (which you’ll be using permanently I hope), structuring your file directories and you’ll need a photo editor.

Some people say that the days of slicing PSD’s is over, (he’ll explain in the video – but essentially it’s cutting out the graphics from a Photoshop file for use on a website) still, it’s useful to know. I won’t be covering Photoshop in this blog, I would say there are a lot of dedicated videos on Youtube for it, and personally I don’t use it that much anyway. More importantly after finishing, you would have seen and used the Chrome/Firefox developer console in use. Within reason you can now go to any website, view the structure all that, and pick up ideas and the like. And having finished, you’ve completed your first real website.

From now on you’ll be hitting barriers, div’s will get stuck in impossible space, backgrounds will refuse to turn hot pink; keep experimenting, you’ll be running into problems minor or major, almost constantly (at this point I certainly was). Keep going, Google is your friend or try Stack Overflow if you get really stuck.


1. 30 days to learn HTML & CSS – Tuts+
2. Download Sublime Text 2

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