A note to students: you should learn this stuff.

I promised to compile a list of resources for CHS students several months ago … and now that the school year is about over, I suppose it's now or never.

Before you begin, there are a couple things you should know.

HTML/CSS: Describes what is on the page, and how it looks. If you're interested in design, learn these tecnhologies first.

Javascript: This is a front-end language that tells the HTML/CSS what to do. "Front-end" means your computer downloads the file from the web server (the back-end), and runs the functions that the code describes after the file is downloaded. Most animations on the web use Javascript in one form or another. If you're interested in programming – making your websites DO cool things – you'll need to get into this pretty quickly. It's still a good idea to start with HTML and CSS, but you may not need to spend as much time on it.

So here goes:

http://www.codecademy.com/

This is a free online curriculum that focuses on code. It's a great place to start. Once you've devoured everything that this site has to offer and you're still interested, continue to:

http://teamtreehouse.com/

Treehouse is a curriculum and a set of video tutorials that was developed by Carsonified. These guys started out as a web design and development agency, and branched out into conference planning after their company blog became quite successful. They've since given up on client work and focus on the conferences and Treehouse full-time. I attended FOWD-NY last December, which is a really worthwhile experience if you want to spend several days surrounded by the best in the industry.

Treehouse is a paid program at $25/month, but if you're willing to learn on your own, you can go as fast as you want. Worth every penny.

Twitter Bootstrap!

If you're as headstrong as I am, you might rather start by just downloading a bunch of code, digging through it, and figuring things out. If that's the case, Twitter Bootstrap is the best place to start on the web. It's well-written code that is very well-documented, and was built as a starting point for professional developers to build sites that look great. I wrote a presentation on it just a couple of days ago, full of links and explanations. It assumes you already know the fundamentals, but nobody's stopping you from just hacking away at it.

If coding doesn't interest you at all,

you might want to start in graphics programs. You'll need to learn to code eventually if you're going to be taken seriously as a web designer, but spending your time learning Photoshop or Fireworks certainly isn't a waste of your time. If you have access to those (expensive) programs, Lynda.com has several paid tutorials, and tutsplus is a good service for free tutorials that cover both code and graphics. (They have several free posts, and a paid subscription as well.)

Finally, find some forums, and talk to other people who are learning. There are a lot of us out here on the web who are happy to help. Here are just a couple:

http://css-tricks.com/
http://www.codingforums.com/
http://www.reddit.com/r/web_design/
http://www.reddit.com/r/design_critiques

That should be enough to keep you busy for a couple of days. Have fun!

Kelly Creative Tech
1185 Greiner Dr.
Zanesville, Ohio
888-794-6509

[email protected]
[email protected]