So I just started to learn coding and finished the basic HTML course and going for web development from there (CSS and JS next). Now I’m thinking, is it a smart move to start a project (concept website for an organization I’m in) and while learning, add to that project with new HTML stuff, CSS, JS and maybe more?
And how did you start at the very beginning of your coding journey?
I think the answer depends on the complexity of what you are building.
For any requirement there are many ways to achieve it using different tools.
For example, as you learn new development methods the old methods can be replaced. Example using CSS to style HTML.
My take is to build a solid foundation through learning/practicing with codecademy until you get a sense of many of the “tools” you have available in your toolbox to build the requirements. This doesn’t mean you know everything but at least you know the area to go investigate and can ask logical questions around it.
Just the websites structure and styling mostly, so that means HTML and CSS. At some point I want a contact form that visitors can use to e-mailed us. Haven’t looked into what I would need for that, and I figure it will cross my path at some point during the front-end developer course.
The most challenging part would be to build a ticket buying system with various tickets, options, waiting lists for most and linked to a payment system. But to be fair, that’s way out of my league for now, so we’ll probably hire someone for that. xd
Do you think what you build will be maintained or modified by others? If so then it would make sense to learn best practices so its foundation is strong. If its more just for you and will be re-built then I’d say make it anyway you can.
For the ticketing system, I wouldn’t look at building it - there are many frameworks available -from api’s to branded sites that you can integrate and they provide all that for you. So I would go research how that integration works.
I think this version will be maintained and modified by me. It’s a way for me to practice while working on something more than just a random project. But if it is going to be used to replace the current website, someone else will maintain or modify it at some point (won’t be sitting there for the rest of my life).
At some point I probably build the real thing. I’m just wondering whether starting a big project with just html and first lessons CSS is worth it or it’s better to take courses and leave projects for now.
I would wait then and just keep doing courses and projects.
All of these lessons have big capstone projects to finish which I think are excellent in teaching you how to approach and solve the problems you will eventually encounter in your own projects.
Thank you for your view on this. Did you have enough with the big capstone projects to learn it? I find them a bit easy because of the step-by-step process and am worried that I’ll forget what I learned in the beginning when I’m further down the line.
Oh yes - I really focused on understanding and experimenting with different approaches vs trying to get through as quick as possible. Like I could have copied code I wrote before and pasted into the new project as a starting point, but I focused on writing it from scratch - pretending that I was building my own site with only online references like MDN webdocs to refer to.
TeaCozy was the first one that took me a good amount of time. After that ColmarAcademy was very complex. Eventhough they are one page sites - it fits perfectly for what I want to do as I want to design a one page landing site for initial value proposition tests with the idea I’m working on. So I feel I could pull from that code and knowledge to accomplish that goal.
I do see your point though about forgetting - are you thinking to just build with what you know then re-build or add to it as you go along and modify the site? I can see that being a good strategy as you could focus more on the design with html/css in the beginning. I don’t see any downside in doing that at all.
I think overall though it’s only through lots of practice that fluency will come.
Which reminds me I think the codecademy app is excellent as it has many refreshers and mini practice tests that you can keep doing where ever you are.
I would recommend starting with a prebuilt Wix, Weebly, Squarspace, Wordpress, Voog, Drupal etc (any other) theme.
Last I checked all of them allow you to modify the existing code in case you would like to tweak something or add new functionality. They have great documentation and supportive communities. Of course some of these themes are built better than others but they all follow certain quality standards.
It’s great way to become more knowledgeable, and you would not over extend yourself. Which is a danger as you are in the begging of your journey and working alone.
This way there wouldn’t be a threat of biting off a bigger piece than one can handle, getting stuck in the weeds and loosing all hope and motivation.