Six Tutorials in Six Weeks: Overview

One of the revelations this global pandemic has brought on is of the extreme fragility of certain careers, juxtaposed with the great benefit of having a career that is “pandemic-proof.” What I’ve learned in my transition from a furloughed flight attendant to an aspiring web developer, is the security of having a diversified skill set. More and more people are interested in, or even dependent upon, careers that offer partial (or total) remote working capabilities.  The great thing about working in tech is that pretty much any career path you take is capable of being completely remote. 

Despite the appeal, the nature of these turbulent times can make taking the risk to invest your resources into a new career feel a bit daunting. Additionally, if you have minimal experience and few connections it can be overwhelming just figuring out where to start. The biggest catch is you have to be motivated by a genuine desire to learn to code — mirages of financial gain and career success won’t be enough to sustain you through the hard work it takes to get there. You also have to be ok with experimentation and giving things a chance.  You might not know you’re on the right path until you finally have the momentum to recognize it. For a newbie in tech, free tutorials are the perfect way to see if that particular learning platform and the specific career path you’re exploring are right for you. 

Here at Wahine Coder, we get it, and we are here to be that accessible connection for anyone wanting to learn more about tech, coding and beyond! It’s also why we created this guide — to make available the resources that helped bring me out of the darkness into this amazing new world of coding and computers, and to show you that if someone like me can do it, you certainly can as well. I tried six different beginner tutorials focused on web development over a six-week period and outlined what I learned as an absolute beginner learning to code for free.

Six FREE Beginner Tutorials in Six Weeks:

  • Week One: CareerFoundry — A reading-based curriculum that guides you to build an entire web page from scratch by the end of the 6-day course. Read my review of this learning platform and their tutorial here.
  • Week Two: Skillcrush — A fun, interactive 5-part coding camp that gives you an overview of HTML & CSS, UX Design, Visual & Web Design, and Wordpress. Read my review of this learning platform and their tutorial here.
  • Week Three: SuperHi — Video-based curriculum that guides through the full process of design to development. By the end of the tutorial you will have created a beautiful, fully functional website from scratch and have a glimpse into the life of a freelance web developer. They also have an informational 7-day email guide (also free) that I really enjoyed. Read my review of this learning platform and their tutorial here.
  • Week Four: SheCodes — A 60 minute, live workshop on coding for beginners. Partly an overview of web development and also partly an overview on the company and their workshop offerings. Read my review of this learning platform and their tutorial here.
  • Week Five: Codecademy — A task-based learning environment with free access to most of the beginner courses’ lessons and practice assignments. Read my review of this learning platform and the tutorial I tried here.
  • Week Six: The Odin ProjectOpen source, reading-based curriculum with everything you need to take you from complete beginner to full-stack developer for free! Read my review of this learning platform and their tutorial here.

If I did them again in a different order:

  1. I would take the Codecademy Sorting Quiz and Skillcrush Personality Quiz first to get an idea of what my tech orientation might be.
  2. Then, I would try Skillcrush to get a general overview of different career paths in tech.
  3. Assuming I would still land on web development as a career path, I would take the SheCodes workshop for a basic introduction to web development.
  4. Next, I would do Codecademy’s free tutorials on HTML, CSS and JavaScript to learn general syntax, methods and terminology.
  5. Then I would start the CareerFoundry tutorial for my first attempt at building a webpage from scratch.
  6. After that, I would do the SuperHi tutorial to build a multi-page website from scratch.
  7. Lastly I would settle into The Odin Project to get a comprehensive education in web development. 

If I could do only one:

  • SuperHi — For an absolute beginner, this is a perfect opportunity to learn some coding basics, get a taste of what the life of a freelance web developer would be like, and to see if you actually enjoy the work. 
  • The Odin Project — If you know for sure that you want to be a web developer, going straight into this curriculum could be all you need. It freely gives you what most bootcamps and certification programs are charging an arm and a leg for. You don’t get a certificate at the end, but if you are self-motivated enough to put in the hard work, you can come out of the program with a job-worthy portfolio (arguably more valuable than a piece of paper). 

Other Free Tutorials to Deepen your Understanding of Web Development:

  • Intro to Github: A complete beginner’s guide to one of the most important tools/resources of every professional coder.
  • Git Immersion: A beginner’s introduction to an important tool for every developer.
  • Free Code Camp: Another completely free coding curriculum which offers certificates as well as projects portfolios for completion of courses.
  • Skillshare: An online learning platform for a variety of disciplines offering a free 7-day trial of their membership.
  • Learn Web Development: Mozilla’s comprehensive overview of web development for varying ranges of ability. They also offer a free course in front-end web development.
  • Web Demystified: A series of videos explaining web development.

In the end, knowledge isn’t the answer to becoming a good coder. The nature of coding is essentially problem solving (and finding peace with having to troubleshoot a LOT of problems). Be adventurous with these tutorials and try the ideas that come to mind. If they work, way to go! If they’re buggy, see if you can figure it out on your own. The more you struggle, the more you will learn, and the better coder you will become. Ultimately, trying several different tutorials is advantageous because of all the free knowledge you can gain but also because it helps you research the best program for your personality and learning preferences.

For a comprehensive visual, see this in-depth comparison chart of all six programs below. For a PDF version with clickable links to all these resources and a free, blank version of this chart to do your own tutorial comparisons, click HERE.