On Front-End Development Right Now

Yesterday I was at the bank replacing a debit card and I had a conversation with the teller I’ve had about 10 times this year. He said “if he could do it again, he would learn to code.” My response to this every time is a resounding: You Can! The web evolves so quickly – I literally feel like I learn to code again every year. And it’s never been a better time to be a developer! The languages and tools are so powerful it feels too good to be true, we no longer care about IE6 (this can never be overstated), and the web is full of answers for every conceivable issue you might run into. You have a question, you google it, done. (Though, I’ll concede that it can sometimes be hard to know what exactly to google.)

Recently a friend hired me to teach her HTML, CSS & WordPress. As I begin to prepare the lessons, I can’t help but feel like as much as it’s a great moment in time for development, it’s a tough time to teach it. In the midst of CSS3, HTML5, responsive design, sass/less, haml, compass, all with varying degrees of implementation, it’s hard to say what’s a fundamental anymore. Or perhaps the only fundamental is, and will always be, trial and error? In some ways I feel like the best thing I can provide her is a roadmap, point out where we are and where we’re going, and say jump in.

If you’re thinking of getting started, here’s a brief list of resources to help:

• Front-End Standards
• CSS-Tricks
• Beginner’s Guide to HTML & CSS
• Code Academy
• Treehouse
• Skillshare
• Compass
• Sass