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The Best way to learn web design and keep up with technology?

  • # January 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Each time I visit this forum, I get the impression that whatever effort that I took to even learn the basics has become outdated – it’s a reality check that leaves me wondering how to even go about improving my skills.

    SASS? SCSS? Responsive design? html5? 960 grid? How do you guys keep up with ever changing trends, and how do you know so much?

    Is there some course that teaches you these things? What is the systematic way to go about learning?

    Some guys here seem to know css, html , jquery AND php. I’d like to know where all the learning came from and I’d like to achieve similar standards.

    # January 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    It just comes from time and practice.

    You don’t need to worry about SCSS before you have perfected the fundamentals of CSS.

    http://justbuildwebsites.com/

    # January 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Hey,

    Agreed, comes from time and practice. I always find I learn the best new things by challenging myself with a project that is slightly out of my comfort zone. That pushes me to learn the new things that I would not normally learn. Certainly not everyone has this luxury though.

    As a starter, why don’t you look at a really nice site you like, and basically do whatever it takes to build it out yourself, just by looking at it. I find that works best.

    Definitely no one way to learn, but lots of reading up on the problem you are looking to solve is a starter.

    # January 29, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Monthly subscription to .net magazine has helped me no-end

    Also, regular checks on the following websites

    http://www.netmagazine.com/

    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/

    http://alistapart.com/

    Create a Twitter account for work only if you haven’t already, and follow anyone tweeting about their experiences in web design

    # January 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

    It helps to love web development ;)

    If so there is nothing better – always something new to learn and discover plus the satisfaction that comes from “light bulb” moments when something that seemed so hard suddenly slots into place.

    But the only way you’ll get there is by spending a lot / all of your time either writing code or reading about it.

    A few things that have helped me on my journey:

    http://www.w3schools.com/
    http://teamtreehouse.com/
    https://learnable.com/
    http://www.codecademy.com/
    http://css-tricks.com/
    http://alistapart.com/
    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/
    http://24ways.org/
    http://handcraftedcss.com/
    http://hardboiledwebdesign.com/
    http://www.abookapart.com/ (Buy all of them)

    And tens of thousands of google searches for solutions to problems – there is a lot of help out there if you’re happy to spend the time finding and making sense of it.

    Also look for Meetups or usergroups near you – it’s great to meet your fellow devs in person and get along to conferences for the same reason.

    Plus you don’t have to be really good at all of it – if you find you love CSS it is OK to get very good at that and just have a working knowledge of javascript or jQuery or php and vice versa. There are very few people (probably no one) who are genuine experts in all the languages you mentioned – but they probably know someone who is …

    Good luck – it’s the best industry to work and play in

    # January 29, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you everyone for the comments, and resource links. I was just wondering whether there was a systematic way to learn all this, as opposed to a haphazard way. I’ve learned my stuff purely from online resources such as w3schools and some live projects. And it appears as though I’m getting some basics wrong. For instance, I’ve simply been using texts with bigger fonts and font-weight:bold to showcase large headings instead of h1/h2 tags , and I’ve been told that I’m doing it all wrong. I’ve been using a fixed width of 980/990px for the middle content instead of responsive design. What I’ve noticed here is that there is a certain standard agreement about the best practices, instead of wildly varying views and counter views.(which is essentially, the gist of the OP)

    B.T.W, I love this field, which is why I’ve made the switch at the age of 31!(despite being called stupid and suicidal).

    # January 29, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    @Krish1980, I recommend avoiding w3schools at all costs..

    http://w3fools.com

    # January 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Thanks a ton, Chris. See, this is one of the things that I’m talking about. I’m not really sure which resource to trust. For instance, in one book (CSS – the missing manual) there’s talk about how I could use @import to make style sheet classification easier, but then came across this

    [http://www.stevesouders.com/blog/2009/04/09/dont-use-import/](http://www.stevesouders.com/blog/2009/04/09/dont-use-import/ “”)

    How do you distinguish between accurate and inaccurate content?

    # January 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I tend to weight internet content and books by related their age.

    A 3 year old blog post…….probably out of date.

    Ditto a book unless it’s been updated and re-issued in the last 6 months.

    # January 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Re conflicting information, you’ll find a lot of this about. If someone makes a statement such as do or don’t use @import take notice if they explain why, and Google around to see what the consensus is.

    In this case@import is normally considered poor practice because it is a performance hit. If you Google something like @import in CSS you’ll find plenty of discussion around why you shouldn’t use it.

    I tend to find the best advice makes its way to the top, that said practices change over time so beware of received wisdom.

    # January 29, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    To quote the eminent Chris Coyier, “Just build websites!”

    http://justbuildwebsites.com/

    It really is the only way to go. There’s so much info out there that there’s no possible way you’ll ever keep up with it, so learn what you need to in order to do your job as well as you possibly can, and no more. That’s my advice anyway.

    Whether that involves SASS, jQuery, Node, ASP.net, Jekyll, WordPress, Joomla, or any other technology, learn what you need to in order to keep growing and learning, and you can always learn more later.

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