You Learn More Effectively By Practicing

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I recently started back into building up my web development skills. A lot has changed in the time since I last actively made an effort to advance my knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript so I needed to catch up!

With that in mind, I set about finding courses, tutorials, and YouTube videos that would help to build my knowledge.

Let’s just say, there’s no shortage of great resources for this sort of thing.

Long story short, I came across an excellent resource called freecodecamp.org.

Don’t worry this isn’t an affiliate plug for this website, though I do think you should check it out if you’re looking to build your web dev skills.

I started with the Responsive Web Design Certification course to effectively start from scratch to make sure I had the basics down.

Not only are the lessons interactive, but there is an entire section at the end devoted to coding your own projects based on a set of project requirements.

These projects provide you with an enjoyable way to build various types of simple websites to test your knowledge of what you’ve learned.

Aside from the main requirements of a project, you’re encouraged to add your own flair.

This is an excellent opportunity to try things out and see how they work.

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Practical Learning

I would argue that this is the best way to learn a skill like web development or coding.

By actively doing and practicing rather than passively watching and reading.

It can be easy to fall into the trap of passively learning without ever actively practicing what you’re learning.

Some call this tutorial hell!

I could watch YouTube coding videos all day on building a responsive website but it’s not until I build one for myself from scratch that I actually start putting my knowledge into practice.

By doing this I can easily see the areas that I struggle to understand.

If I don’t understand how a CSS property works, for example, I can quickly Google it to find the answer.

The act of doing this just in time learning means that I learn more effectively. I’ll be more likely to remember that piece of information the next time I need it.

If I need to I can add a note to my Personal Knowledge Management system about this new thing I’ve learned for later use.

In addition to more effective learning, if you practice your skills in this way, you’ll have something to show for it at the end.

Whether it be a responsive website, a simple mobile app, or a design mockup. All of these things are projects that you can add to your portfolio.

If you are new to web development or design, the most challenging part aside from landing a job itself is actually building a good portfolio of work.


Build To Learn

With all of that in mind, I would encourage you to regularly practice your skills instead of just passively taking in new information.

There are tons of ways you can do this no matter what discipline you are in.

If you’re a web developer for example here are some things you can do to practice your skills:

  • Follow along with the Responsive Web Design Certification course on freecodecamp.org and build the projects in CodePen.
  • Check out websites like Frontend Mentor that have free web design mockups that you can download and turn into a live site.
  • Watch a YouTuber build a website then build it yourself in your own way.
  • Build a website to show off a hobby you have.
  • Take part in something like the 100 Days of Code challenge.
  • If you enjoy designing websites there are tons of resources that have design challenges you can try your hand at. UI Coach is a good example.

My point here is this: try to build or practice something regularly to keep your skills fresh and develop your knowledge.

You might decide to make this a regular thing to build your knowledge.

This is something I am looking to implement going forward to improve my web development skills.


Conclusion

I hope that by reading this article, you’ll be motivated to start practicing your skills more frequently.

Consistent practice will help you to learn more effectively over time no matter what discipline you’re working in whether it’s web development, graphic design, content creation, or anything else.

If you found some value in reading this article, please consider sharing it on social media. It will help others to find it and that would really help me out.


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