Helpful Resources For Web Development — Learning New Skills And Troubleshooting Issues
For today’s web developers, it is important to continually stay on top of an ever-changing landscape that is seemingly evolving faster than a speeding bullet. Because of this, it is vitally important to set aside time each week to study and stay abreast of all of the new technologies, libraries and languages out there. Doing this will:
- Allow you to continually update your skills.
- Ensure that the work you’re producing is always following modern standards.
- Ensure that you will always be employing the latest techniques and trends.
Having several solid resources for new learning material is crucial to staying on top of this constantly changing ecosystem.
Below are a few sites that we here at Straight North either are using or have used in the past. These sites all are great resources of knowledge for all things web development and are just a small but representative sampling. From sites such as these, you’ll be able to learn a wide variety of new skills via online videos, code exercises and tests:
This site has courses on everything from coding to web design to business management. It covers nearly every major language through comprehensive online courses.
Codeacademy is a little less robust than Treehouse, but you can get started with an account here totally free of charge, which is always a plus. It still covers most major languages here, such as HTML, CSS, JS and PHP.
Much like Codeacademy, this site is also slightly less robust than Treehouse, but still covers a good amount, and has many courses that can be accessed with a free account.
Another framework we use a lot here is Drupal. Drupalize.Me is one of the premier online Drupal tutorials out there, containing hundreds of video tutorials on everything from site setup and configuration to theme development to module development.
Last but not least is Lynda.com. This may be one of the most popular online tutorial libraries today. Like Treehouse, this one contains much more than web development courses. Design, business processes and photography are just a few of the many courses available.
The sites we’ve just discussed above are great for when you’re looking to sit down and dig into something new. But what about when you’re knee-deep in a project and are stuck on a bug or just not sure how to proceed? Well, those sites won’t offer too much help in most cases, as more specific knowledge will be needed.
What are some of the best sites to help you find answers for development-related issues you’re running into? Some of the ones we use the most are listed below:
Stack Overflow is an amazing resource for developers to post issues they are having and then get answers from others in the community who have either tackled a similar issue or have an idea about a solution. The community here has helped us quite a few times when we’ve hit roadblocks. The posts on this site from other developers can be invaluable and incredible time savers.
When in doubt, just Google it. This is seriously the best option for finding the answer to whatever question you have. Chances are good that you’re not the first person to run into whatever issue you’re currently stuck on. A quick Google search will almost always bring you to what you’re looking for — most likely a link to a specific post on Stack Overflow.
Lastly, I wanted to mention one other good way to get a steady stream of new info, tips and tricks coming your way without having to do any heaving lifting — email newsletters. If you can find a few relevant newsletters to sign up for, a steady stream of info will begin flowing directly into your inbox each week. This allows you to quickly check out an article here and there as you have downtime between other tasks. Email newsletters can be a nice way to stay in the loop on several topics without having to devote a lot of time and energy to it.
Three solid front-end newsletters that I’ve signed up for and would recommend are:
These are some of the sites and resources that we rely on here at Straight North to stay on top of current trends, new technologies and changes in the industry. We hope you find some helpful resources in this list, and we’d love to hear about what you’re using!