Email Template for Advice in Learning Web Development

I have a joke with my fiancé about the two requests I get most. The first is “Hey you code right? So I got this idea for an app…”, somehow I can always smell when this one is coming soon. The second is “I want to learn web development, how can I get started?”. I get this a lot, and so I created this email template I can send to anyone who makes this request. I am not sure how helpful it is since I have never gotten a response back, but maybe that’s the best intro, where they know this is not for them! Or maybe I am just a bad guide for getting into this subject, probably the latter.

My ‘Getting Started with Web Development’ Email Template

Just letting you know this is a template that I have sent to many people in the past. I don’t think anyone has ever done any of this lol. But all I can say is that this is how I got my start. It is not easy, and takes time. If you tackle it though, I know you will have a great foundation. I do web development myself, so that is the track I recommend. From there you can go any direction you like.

In order to design a basic web page you will need to know at least two languages, HTML and CSS. But before you go into that, it will be good to get a basic overview of how the web works and functions. Knowing these things will give you a good solid foundation to start from, read through this site:

Read over the page and go through the assignment links and only do the additional resources if you really feel up for it. And then watch this video on how computers work:

Now with that basic foundation I will go over some things I have learned over the years when it comes to learning how to code that has helped me. So here is my priority list when it comes to learning this stuff, so bear with me I just made it up:

  1. Code!
    • Get in there! Make mistakes, try new things. The best, fastest, and most effective way to learn is to get your hands dirty even if it makes no sense, full of errors, or have no plan or direction. Just like a boxer only gets better by jumping in the ring, the same thing goes for coding. 
    • Troubleshooting- Fixing the errors, trying everything you haven’t tried yet, will help you along fast. Also it will keep you from making the same mistakes.
  2. Read/Watch Videos
    • Google is your best friend! I don’t know if I got better at coding or I just got better at googling. Every question you have, especially at this beginning stage has been asked somewhere before online, you just need the terminology to find it.
    • Terminology- Focus heavily on the names of terms, and different subsets while learning and it will help vastly when trying to find an issue. 
  3. Asking for Help
    • Ask someone about your specific issues. Either someone in person you may know, or online. The reason why this comes after the first two is because the help you receive will vary in its directness. The process of finding the answer on your own will surely teach you more than someone who just hands it to you. 
    • Always make sure you have exhausted 1 and 2 before asking someone for help. And of course, that is within reason in a case by case basis. 

Forgive me if some of that is mundane, but I really had a hard time getting it into my head over the years. But now for the code. This is the site I started with:

Go through and read the examples. It will help you start your first webpage using notepad. The site isn’t the prettiest but it really explains things well and is a good starting place. This site is also great for general reference, I come back to this site a lot.

From there you can move into codecademy where the tutorials are a little more fun, and you can try a lot of new things. Complete their HTML and CSS track:

That should be a great starting place for now. I know it is a lot of stuff all at once, so just go at your own pace. I expect it will take you a while to wade through just the resources provided here. Feel free to ask me any questions! Email is the best way for me. I really hope this helps!

©Larry Buffaloboy