So I saw a some of the info you posted regarding the various websites to learn coding.
I wanted to ask you though, which ones did you personally use? I feel like I don’t know where to begin and there are just so many options.
I also heard websites like Treehouse and Codecademy (which I’ve used and liked) are great for super basics, but what next?
Thanks for the advice!
Nice to hear from you =)
There’s two questions, so I am going to answer each separately.
1. What do I personally use to learn?
At the time of writing (which is a few weeks prior to this being published) I am in the thick of creating my first ever online course.
Why is this important? Because everything I am doing (and learning) right now relates to putting together this course.
This means I have not been focusing as much on actual coding.
Nevertheless, I have still been learning a lot about selling digital products online. (Which, of course, is technical!)
Here are just a few things I have taught myself since starting to make this course:
- How to store static assets (like PDFs) on AWS S3
- Basic video and audio editing (which I have a strong aversion to but am getting better at)
- Using the Zippy Courses WordPress Plugin + Theme
- Collecting payments with Stripe
- Setting up an SSL certificate
And a lot more.
What have I been using to teach myself all of this?
To put together this course, I have been relying a lot on of different sources, including:
- Trial and error
- Sarah (my super helpful assistant who has been like an angel slash therapist)
- Talking to people with experience making courses, asking for help
- Documentation (like from Zippy Courses and Stripe)
- Trial and error
- My boyfriend (who has more experience with things like collecting payments online)
I know: most of this is not relevant to you, nor most people reading this.
But I went through the trouble of explaining it because what a person decides to learn should be relevant to them. Their life, their goals, etc!
Okay…time for a relevant answer: What *did* I use to learn to code?
Here’s some stuff I love:
- Team Treehouse. Tons of material. IMO, goes way beyond free sites like Codecademy.
- YouTube. I love YouTube. I watch how-to videos for all kinds of things. It is wonderful for very specific, bite-sized information.
2. What’s next after Codecademy and related?
Short answer: build your own things.
I think you’re totally right about some sites being great for basics, but that’s where it ends.
As much as I love online tutorials and courses, I also love the idea of people building their own stuff—without a tutorial or course guiding them along.
From trying and failing, AKA productive failure, you’ll learn more than you would from following a tutorial. I can basically guarantee that.
Failing is good. But most people (including me) have a fear of failing.
Here is a list of my site/app/side project failures (AKA things I never completed, or gave up on):
- Become a Better Writer
- Laurencebradford.me (portfolio-like site I never really finished…)
- Should I make a WP Site? (a simple quiz…that never got finished)
- Codepractice.ninja (I *thought* I could eventually turn it into a cool ongoing list of places to practice coding online…)
- A special LTCWM series I don’t think even made it online
- F*** yeah btns (a Tumblr blog all about cool buttons..that never took off)
- Southeastasiastories.com (Another “big idea” that never made it far – it was going to be a collection of Southeast Asia travel stories plus tips)
And there’s more.
So, if you’re reading this and have done numerous coding courses, but haven’t built your own “thing” yet:
- Stop reading this article
- Hide the programming book, pause the Treehouse subscription, etc.
- And build your own freaking “thing”
Even if you never finish, or get it to where you want it to go, I promise you will learn more from the process than following a step-by-step guide.
Get out there and get building folks!